Leadership Nugget - Robert H Schuller - Tough times
Tough times never last, but tough people do. – Robert H Schuller
It is that time of year again...Football season! As anyone who knows me will tell you, I don't follow sports very closely. Even my favorite teams, I could tell you a few of the well-known players and a general barometer on how they are performing this year but not much more. However, as a former student-athlete, this time of year brings up strong feelings, feelings associated with preparing to compete.
The excitement of anything being possible, the anxiety of performing in front of thousands of people, the resolve to stand firm when things don’t go your way.
Preparing for a new football season means camp. 30 days of eating, sleeping and breathing football.
Studying to prepare to practice plays, practicing those plays, watching film of you practicing those plays. A 15 hour day (with a few meals and naps spliced in) is the norm…
When the day finally ends, you go “home” to a hotel room with a roommate/teammate who maybe snores, sleepwalks, sleeps with the tv on, or maybe just doesn't sleep…
Wearing the same clothes day in/day out. On the days, when you got the privilege to practice twice, those same clothes potentially weren't yet dry from the first time you poured your sweat into them…
While in the midst of what we characterized as “cruel and unusual punishment” it was tough not to focus on the negatives and how our lives were so horrible. I’ll admit, I thought life was hard.
To cope, my teammates and I made games out of the most mundane things. Attempting to fling footballs into trash cans from different distances. One year we played so much Tiger Woods’ PGA golf we were practically scratch golfers. We sat at “training tables” (dining hall where we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and talked about football and anything but football to fill time between practice and meetings. We made it...the tough times didn’t last but we did.
Now on the other side, with a little perspective (and friends for life), I see that it could have been worse, it could have much worse. I learned as long as you hang in there, you will make it through.
Life can always get harder, the task can always be more involved. Life presents challenges, things which don’t go your way...Embrace the challenge. Busy isn't always bad!