“If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.” ― Terry Goodkind
ADVERSITY enters our lives when we least expect it.
How we respond defines who we become.
While training in jiu jitsu, I heard a loud pop in my knee.
Not the background music I was hoping to listen to while training.
2 weeks later…
I’m standing next to an orthopedic surgeon.
He looked at the MRI and explained my injury –“a full width tear of the ACL”.
A knee injury brings a level of adversity into your life.
I am firm believer that life is 10% what happens and 90% how we respond.
Jeffrey Benjamin said, “Adversity always hides a gift.”
Our job is to find it.
Here are 4 Gifts I learned by tearing my ACL:
Fear thrives in adversity.
Expose yourself to enough stories of the worst possible outcome, and your mind will start to believe them.
One way to empty the fear out of our minds and fill it with positive vibes is to BREATHE.
As soon as I heard that “POP” behind my kneecap, I focused on my breathing:
- Slow, deep breaths.
- In my nose.
- Out my mouth.
It’s amazing how FOCUSED BREATHING calms your mind.
Focused breathing is one of the true GIFTS I learned by training jiu jitsu and practicing yoga.
Take a page out of Charles Darwin’s play book.
Learn to ADAPT to your environment.
My energy comes from being active:
- Playing sports with my kids.
- Training jiu jitsu.
- Traveling with my wife.
But with a knee as strong a Kardashian marriage, I needed to make adjustments.
I had to watch class instead of train.
To stay in shape, I had to trade my jiu jitsu Gi for the elliptical machine at LA Fitness.
There wasn’t a trade that bad since the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees.
But they served their purpose.
THE POWER OF COMMUNITY
Adversity puts fear in your head.
Speaking with friends who went through the same situation crushed that fear.
Never underestimate the power of community.
KEEP MOVING FORWARD
Life moves on.
The world stops for no one.
An injured knee was not going to stop me from living my life.
A few days after I got hurt, I was scheduled to chaperone a Class Trip for my son’s 2nd grade class.
I bought my 1st knee brace ever and jumped (more like limped) onto the school bus.
It was an awesome day – Kardashian knee and all.
Call it my Kirk Gibson moment.
Getting injured is AVERAGE.
Living life in the face of adversity feels REMARKABLE.
– Joe Ciccarone
This article was originally published in June 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com.