I’m sure everybody does it. We all recall our best and worst years.
The calendar is only capturing numbers that make somehow sense to organize our life around it. And with it, we associate moments, emotions to those dates. All becomes very precise when we actually think about instants that touched us deep both mentally and physically.
For example, 2007 and 2010 will always be associated with my wedding and the birth of my 2 beloved kids. I will always accurately remember what I was doing on June 23rd / September 20th and July 2nd of those specific years. Thinking about it brings me good vibes as I write it now. I think it’s now widespread that thinking about positive experiences is good for your health as it releases good relaxing hormones (endorphin) and makes you believe life is worth living. No brainer.
Well, what happens with all the rest of your life? What to do, and how to handle all the bad moments you endured throughout many many years of family, friend tragedies, accidents, broken hearts, professional or competition deceptions, basically of the ugly Life throws at you?
I hope you will all agree that we still have to live with that, no matter what. One option is the suicide, which is actually not an option for those who chose to live anyway.
So back to the question: How to get through all this pain, and be able to handle it without carrying it as a heavy burden for years and years?
Let me mention 2 other years in my life which are far less enjoyable than 2007 & 2010.
2006 is probably the year where I've known the worst physical pain to date (and hopefully till my last day comes). A street fight ended me up with a nasty surgery to repair my “guts”. Open belly was no joke, adding to it an infection that made the pain last few more weeks. Feeling weak and barely handling the pain was one thing. Not being able to properly sleep and having nightmares because of the pain was reaching another level of self-dominance. “Dreaming” about sleeping on a nailed bed and actually feeling the real acute pain in my belly was putting me to a dark place I would never imagine to go one day.
Every morning that finally arrived after a long long night was a blessing. At 25 years old, I was happy to get through one more day. Of course, all of this extreme feeling went away after a while, and as the recovery went better and better, I could finally put this in the back of my mind and continue to grow as a man, husband and father.
And 2013 came along…2 more surgeries still in the belly area on my gallbladder and appendix. Those ones added 2 more scars to my look as the 2006 heavy one (mis)lead the future ones to be done via micro-cameras. Once again, pain, doubts, recovery. And of course, I linked all what happened to me recently to this terrible year 2006.
More importantly, I recently realized that 2006 crushed my heart and soul deep inside. I was seeing the sadness and fear in my parents' eyes but I under-estimated my own mental fight to overcome these obstacles. I wouldn't tell it, but I would already make some conclusions in my life on what I would have achieved thus far like I was doing “extras” reaching my 26th birthday only. It was a short term approach that I hated at the time because there was no logical reason for me to think it would end soon, especially after overcoming all of this.
But it’s only after going through January and June 2013 during those 2 additional hospital stays that my perception changed for good about everything that was happening to me.
I started to analyze it cold-blooded, like “why does this happen to me? What can I do about it to stop it and finally have the life I would like to have?”
It became clear that I would now get rid of all the things I would consider useless or counter-productive to my progression. To be clear, I remember telling my boss right after my last surgery that I will come back stronger than ever. I truly believed it, not because I want to be the strongest…but because I think I wasted so much time not reaching my full potential. I have the intense belief that I can do great things because of self-discipline, and self-discipline first. This is the big take away from my years of suffering. I discovered that I was sensitive to gluten, and probably my last 2 surgeries were related to this fact. So now I have the choice: Continuing to eat yummy pizzas, bread, pasta and all the thing I used to love and eat everyday, BUT being bloated, have stomachache with risk of high general inflammation increase with all the bad consequences we can read about it. OR I could choose to rethink my diet, and with it, my overall lifestyle.
This is the real question: Are you ready to give up on your daily small satisfaction habits to actually allow yourself to develop to a point you make yourself, and your close ones happier and potentially last longer?
For me, my motivation is very simple: My kids and wife need a strong dad & husband, setting an example, and they need this strong, self-confident dad for a long, long time. I can’t afford to leave them too early. So, can I change the things I eat and drink to become that better person everyday? Can I learn new things about how to move better so I can enjoy again to have a strong, agile body after these years of weakness and fear?
HELL YES I CAN, and I DO !!
My main advice for people who could see themselves in that story is:
Use all your pain, bad experiences, suffering, deception, depression, cries, screams, rage…use all of this to your advantage. Analyze what went wrong, be mad about it, don’t accept it, whatever ...but don’t let it crush you anymore, use it as a weapon the others don’t have because they didn’t live what you had to go through. Positive vibes as well as negative vibes are here to test you, they come to you and ask you “What are you going to do with me?”
LIVE. EXPERIENCE. ANALYZE. LIVE BETTER.
Nobody is pushing, motivating or even forcing me to train as I do now. Actually I’m wrong, I do push, motivate, force myself to do what I feel I have to do to reach my goals described above. And naturally, I can put in practice this utmost motivation because of the unbelievable support from my wife who's doing everything she can to help me grow the way I aim for. This gives me the strength to go on and enable to have this amazing feeling: Knowing that I went through so much mentally and physically that I actually enjoy the discomfort of an intense training session. I know I would not be the same without living through what happened in 2006.
For a long time, I believed I would never be as good as I was before that (no scars, playing football, partying, easy life), but in fact, I am now grateful to all of this. I now accept what happened and embraced to create everyday a better version of myself, all aspects considered (husband, father, son, brother, businessman, "athlete", Movement coach,…)
ScarAbs is dedicated to this quest, focused on this self-discipline mainly through moving better and interacting with people having the same goal. I really hope this community can grow and together we can help others to take advantage of our weaknesses.
Being “tenacious” is the thing I respect & hold dear, and with that, I truly and firmly believe that we are equipped for the life we deserve, for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.