Ask Kianna: Dealing with and Overcoming Adversity

Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer

 

Dear Kianna, how do you respond to adversity in your life? I have been dealing with a number of challenges and am unsure of how to remain positive in the midst of such difficulties.

-Anonymous 

 

To the beautiful individual who sent in this question, you are not alone. Each of us faces our own set of challenges- some big, some small, yet all are important. Whether it is grieving the death of a loved one, facing a daily battle such as depression, low self-esteem, body image issues, anxiety, etc., or recovering from the flu, all these are challenges. As humans, we cannot and will not escape set-backs in our lives, so ultimately, it is your decision whether you will allow adversity to build you up or tear you down.

Thank you for sending in such a wonderful question, as it is one that I feel particularly inspired to write about. How do I respond to adversity in my life? Well, let me begin by sharing some background information. For all who do not know, I am a sprinter on the track and field team here at Saint Martin’s. In the fall of 2017, I found out that I had a bulging disc in my lower back, which caused radiating pain down my leg. This injury sidelined me for months and I couldn’t run, practice, or compete during the indoor track season. After months of rehab, I was finally cleared to begin running again in January. However, I was only able to enjoy practicing with my team for about a month and a half before I was injured again. With pain in my hip/upper leg area, I was sent in for another MRI, and found out that I damaged my pelvis. Now, about two months later, I am still making my way around campus on crutches and will not be able to compete this outdoor track season.

Two back-to-back injuries have caused me to sit out from competing this entire year. I’m going to be honest- this process has not been easy. There have been many moments when I have felt broken down and discouraged. And, let me tell you, walking around a college campus on crutches is not the most thrilling experience. Yet, even during these difficult moments, I have learned a lot about adversity and positivity.

Like I mentioned earlier, we all go through challenges, or what I like to call “daily crosses.” These are burdens or difficulties that we battle against on a daily basis, both big and small. Here is what I have learned over the past year: attitude is everything. Yes, being injured is not enjoyable. Being grumpy, depressed, and sad all the time won’t speed up the healing process. It is totally normal to be down, but at some point, you need to get up, pick up your cross, and continue on with your day. Keep a smile on your face and know that you will not be taken down by your battles.

In addition, seek the good that comes from adversity. I know it’s hard to imagine what good can come from difficult situations. Well, let me share with you an example. All my life, I have over-trained and pushed my body past the limits when it comes to fitness, working out, and running. While it is good to be determined and motivated, I got carried away, which caused my back-to-back injuries. My back and pelvis injuries are classic overuse injuries which can occur from training too much and not listening to your body. So, as difficult as it is to not compete or run this year, I now know that I need to take better care of my body and not train so hard.

Finally, remember that you are more than the difficulties you face and are not defined by adversity alone. During such trials, focus on your blessings. Yes, I am injured, but I am blessed with such a beautiful life. The opportunity to receive an education, to be surrounded by wonderful individuals, to have a beautiful family, and so much more. I am so incredibly blessed. Focus on the blessings and goodness in your own life, instead of being weighed down by challenges. You can and will grow stronger from adversity, but you must make a conscious decision to strive towards positivity. Ask the Lord for strength when you are challenged. I believe in you and am praying for you all.

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