how to overcome adversity

There is one thing in the world that will reveal your true character without fail every single time: adversity.

When you are facing an adverse situation how do you respond?  How do you overcome adversity not only in the gym but also in life?

How Do You Respond?

How do you respond when you are at rep 6 of 10 in a seemingly impossibly set of deep squats to the bucket?

How do you respond when you are gassed while running hill sprints in the blazing heat of the summer?

How do you respond when you are dealing with life stress but still have to perform as an athlete?

How do you respond when someone tells you they don’t believe in you and that you can’t do something?

How do you respond when you do everything right and STILL fail to achieve your goal?

I have been in all of the above scenarios.

You have two options when you are faced with adversity: you are either going to RISE up or you are going to FOLD.

You Are Not Alone

I have been in the midst of a brutal set of squats.

These are the sets where my legs are incinerating and my lower back is pulsating.  My heart is about to hop out of my chest like Super Mario jumping over a Goomba.

There have been many times where I know I am absolutely finished and I think I have zero reps left in the tank.  But I still try to push through.

Win or lose at least I give it a shot.  You can’t and won’t always win but you will never know if you could of won if you don’t ever try.

[bctt tweet=”How do you respond when you do everything right and STILL fail to achieve your goal?” username=”fitman83″]

The act of trying and failing is infinitely better than just being a yellow coward and not trying at all.

I have been in situations my whole career where I have been told “you can’t do it.”

I have been in competitions and was told I was not good enough to win.  A national audience (including my peers) saw me get sent home to Abington on Day 2 of the finals in the 2014 Men’s Health Next Top Trainer competition.

Although I was selected as a top 8 finalist (over 500 personal trainers across America tried out) I finished near the bottom (7th out of 8).

It would have been very easy to fold after hearing them say “you don’t have it” and getting embarrassed on the national scene.  But turning into Quinn Quitter will get you nowhere.

I took that experience and used it as fuel to help me get better.  I promised myself that the next time Men’s Health saw me they would see the marked improvement.

I was consumed by showing the nation that I was one of the top trainer in the United States.

In 2015 I qualified for the finals again.  I dramatically improved and finished 4th out of 8 in the competition.

I have been told I couldn’t be an athlete when I was younger.

Meanwhile I walked on as a nobody to the East Stroudsburg and then West Chester University track team.  I made myself into an NCAA athlete.

I was told I couldn’t become a fitness professional and create a business.

Meanwhile I’m in my 12th year as a strength coach and my 10th year as a official business.  I have had my own hardcore, no-gimmicks gym for 3 years.

I was told I couldn’t build enough muscle to ever step on a natural bodybuilding stage or get strong enough to compete in a powerlifting meet.

Meanwhile, I competed and placed in natural bodybuilding and got strong enough to do a powerlifting meet.

I was told I couldn’t perform the Lunges of Death.

Meanwhile I’m the only guy in history who has ever done it.

People Will Always Doubt You

My whole life I have heard this garbage about what I couldn’t do.

I could have easily folded when I heard these things in my life and you would of never heard of the Fitman.  I would be just existing doing something else that would have zero impact on the many folks I can now touch through spreading the word of fitness.

Being told I can’t drove me then and it drives me now to continue to unleash my inner greatness.

How will you respond when you get knocked down?

But what about you?  How will you respond to adversity?

What if you do not lose the weight you were expecting to lose?

What if the person you want to date so badly says no and has zero interest in you?

What if your job fires you?

What if your spouse dumps you?

What if your apartment complex sends you a letter telling you that you have to relocate in 60 days or get kicked out?

What if you lose money on a bad investment?

What if you unexpectedly lose half of your monthly income?

What if you do not hit that PR that you have been training so hard for?

What if your coach cuts you from the basketball team?

What are you gonna do?

[bctt tweet=”The act of trying and failing is infinitely better than just being a yellow coward and not trying at all.” username=”fitman83″]

How To Overcome Adversity

Adversity will reveal you as either a winner or a loser regardless of what you say.

There are 3 ways you can overcome adversity.  They are:

1) Acceptance

Acceptance is the most important key.

Nobody is going to get through life without facing adversity.  Everybody will face tough challenges.

Once you accept that all your days will not be sunny, you can begin to develop your mind for the rainy days.

If you are mentally weak, the rainy days will break you.

2) Fight

In order to overcome the inevitable adversity you will face you have to fight.

If you don’t fight and you just lay down because you got smacked in the mouth, you will not ever be successful in life.

We all get knocked down so that we can learn to get back up.

3) Try

You won’t win every single time.

But you do have the ability to try.  If you never try because of fear and doubt, then it is with 100 percent certainty that you will never win.


The Wesley Winners of the world accept that adversity is an inevitable part of the game.

These folks don’t give up because they find ways to rise up.  They find ways to overcome the adversity they are currently facing.

The Lorenzo Losers of the world fold when adversity hits and reveal the yellow stripe that is on their back.

Face adversity head on and rise up good people!

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,

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