Resiliency: the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
Working in sports, we see this word get thrown around a lot. We talk about the resiliency of our athletes, our coaches, our teams. But often times, this concept transitions to life outside of sports.
Misfortune happens. Change happens. How do we “recover from” or “adjust easily to” this perpetual change (read: life)? And do we have a choice in the matter?
These are questions that I ask myself every day. And these questions began on May 2 at approximately 4:08 a.m. when I awoke to my phone buzzing relentlessly. It was my dad’s name on the caller ID, and I immediately knew that something was not right.
My mom died.
Even after three and a half years of watching her battle two forms of cancer and another rare disease, this was not expected. I feel like I’ve said this every day since her passing, but she was doing so well. And even if she felt weak, she never showed it. Ever.
Four months later, it feels surreal to write these words. And yet, as surreal as it may feel at times (all the time), it is the reality that my family and I are living. And we must learn to accept our new reality.
If there is one thing that my mom embodied more than anything throughout her constant health battle, it is resiliency. When the odds, and dozens of treatments and medications, were stacked against her, she did not falter in spirit or mind. She chose to be determined.
Now, it’s our turn to show determination. I am determined to honor my mom’s life by living mine to the best of my ability. I am determined to find the silver lining in every situation, just as she always did. I am determined to push forward.
Maintaining determination after the unexpected death of a parent is difficult, to say the least. Hell, maintaining determination in the face of any type of adversity is no easy task. Work will test our limits, especially at this time of year in our industry. Relationships become rocky. Financial worries creep to the front of our minds. Life will test our determination in ways unique to each of us. But in all the hurdles we face, there is one constant–we choose how we respond.
“Things happen for a reason. You can react two different ways, negatively or positively. We choose to react positively because we believe it is a choice.” – my Dad
I choose to be resilient. What will you choose?