As many of you are aware Resurg facilitator Chris Young has spent the last couple of years overcoming some life changing health issues. His resilience was rewarded recently when he was a winner in Fitness First’s New You Awards Health category. We asked him for a few tips on overcoming adversity. Here they are…..
- Surround yourself with the positive people. It’s easy to say stay positive but sometimes you just wake up feeling terrible…This is when people around you carry you. They care for you, do the things you can’t and keep you from falling into despair when things are tough.
- There’s always someone worse off than you – just take a walk around the local cemetery or hospital if you don’t believe me. When you are facing hard times try and be very aware of falling into the trap of feeling sorry for myself and expecting everything to come to you. You have to find a way to carry on and achieve things for yourself.
- Overcome negatives with positives – There are things we all have to do but put off because we don’t enjoy them, even though you know you have to do them and you’ll feel better when you have. Going to the gym has been an important part of my rehabilitation but definitely falls into this category! On those days when I just don’t feel like it, I try to add a positive to the experience. Perhaps I buy some new music to listen to on my ipod, or treat myself to a coffee afterwards. I find having something to enjoy can distract me from my negative thoughts.
- Don’t take life for granted This may sound a bit cliche, however when I woke up from my coma realising I was lucky to be alive I suddenly became very appreciative of life. The green grass and trees, sunshine, a glass of water, my children, family, music, all things we take for granted every day. When things get tough now I try and stop and just enjoy the gift of being alive. I remind myself that sooner or later I’ll be six feet under and (depending on your beliefs!) I will never have the chance to experience life again. This may sound like a depressing thought, but I find it very motivating.
- Don’t let fear stop you doing the right thing – Sometimes I find myself not making a decision or taking action because I’m scared. I often know what the right thing to do is but I’m scared to do it even though physically it may be a very simple task. I have found it very useful to try and take the fear out of the equation and ask myself ‘What would I do if I wasn’t scared?’ Suddenly things can become very clear. Once I realise what it is I have to do I focus on the physical aspects that are simple that we lead me to doing the right thing. For example if I have to tell someone bad news all I have to do is pick up the phone and dial their number. This is a very simple task that we do many times every day. Once I have dialled their number I am on the way to dealing with the issue and always feel better afterwards.
- Take the stairs – For me this is good advice in both in a literal and metaphoric sense. When I first became an amputee stairs were a real challenge. Other people expected me to take the lift and I just assumed that I couldn’t take the stairs, it was something that I couldn’t do anymore. Then I realised that taking the stairs would actually be a great way to strengthen my weak legs. I gave it a go and found I could do it, albeit very slowly to start with. This taught me to very wary of anytime I found either myself or someone else telling me I couldn’t do something. Give it a go, you might surprise yourself. Now I leave the lift for people who need it!
Chris pictured with Olympic Swimmer Libbi Trickett after winning the Health Category of the Fitness First New You Awards.