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Overcoming Adversity…Part 1

Overcoming Adversity…Part 1

The Dark Knight Rises by DiegoWho

For today’s post I want to express a different tone and steer a little off the normal path in terms of getting my message across. Today’s post is about overcoming adversity. I sincerely hope that today’s post will leave you with a positive mindset and serve as a catalyst for you to overcome whatever adversity you may be facing in your life. Yeah, I know this isn’t quite the usual message, but it does fit into the context of strength and that can carry over into your day to day pursuit of fitness, as well as any other part of your life for that matter.

Can You Rise? (Overcoming Adversity)

This past weekend my girlfriend and I went to see the new movie The Dark Knight Rises. Aside from the heartbreaking tragedy in Colorado that overshadowed the movie’s premiere I thought the movie was really good and the message or meaning I got out of it is what I want to share with you today. Of course, I’ll try to do my best not to give away any significant details of the movie that may ruin it for you in case you haven’t had a chance to see it for yourself. Before I go any further I also want to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to the folks in Colorado, as well as, all the victims of the Penn State tragedy, our men and women battling everyday for our freedoms, and anyone else that is facing a storm of tragedy in their lives.

Now on to the topic at hand. There is no doubt that today the media is inundating us with news on issues that get people caught up in a firestorm of debate and have people literally split with totally opposing viewpoints. As a strength coach and trainer I deal with this very thing within my career all the time when debating other strength coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiast. These debates may have as little significance as to which is the best way to increase the vertical leap of a basketball player or as much significance as to the limit of squat depth of an individual with a post surgical ACL repair.

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The point is that the same logic that I use in my day to day life decisions is what I try to implement in my work towards my athletes and students that are serious about fitness. My school of thought is rather simple. If it has been proven to work then do it. If it has been proven to fail then don’t do it! Much of what determines whether or not something has been proven has either been implemented by myself or by someone else that I have learned from. The good news is that the street travels both ways. All of us can learn from each other and this weekend The Dark Knight reminded me of something just along those very lines.

Before I get into what the Batman reminded me of I want to point out a problem that I see with this country (the U.S.) today. I see a lot of people making excuses about things they shouldn’t be making excuses about. I hear blamers not solution makers. I hear people misdirect blame and not look into the mirror, point, and say get your ass in gear! In my opinion we are becoming a culture overrun by weakness and lacking in character. Because of this it makes overcoming adversity for many a hopeless situation. I heard a funny quote the other day off of facebook that said something like “a country with an obesity problem and a skinny jean obsession is not a good combination!” Boy ain’t this the truth! 

Some responses to this were that some apparently overweight people were blaming the skinny jean company for their product. Now let me make something here very clear. Even if hell freezes over I still wouldn’t be a skinny jean person, but if those folks whose asses are too big to fit into the skinny jeans want to blame the jean manufacturer this is where I as a trainer and an american get pissed. It’s not the skinny jean company’s fault that you can’t comfortably wear their product nor is it McDonald’s fault that you have a Big Mac addiction. It’s also not Teen magazine’s fault for your poor taste in fashion and not the grocery stores fault for your poor taste in reading material. Do you get my point? You have a choice as an individual and if you are making excuses by wrongly blaming others for your problems then that is simply put a Flat Out Lazy Donkey Shit Attitude.

You May Be A Character, But Do You Have Character? (Overcoming Adversity)

Now back to the Dark Knight. In the picture at the beginning of this article you saw a very menacing photo of an individual that looks like a cross between Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter. By the way I came up with that description all on my own! That picture is the villain Bane in the new Dark Knight movie. He is both intellectually and physically imposing. Kind of like umm…me…just kidding. Ok, back to my point. Bane is a very challenging foe to Batman and during one major defining moment as in most any super hero movie Batman has to really dig his heels in, get tough, and find the strength to overcome adversity unlike any time before that I have seen with his character. Now this is the very meaning that I pulled from the movie.

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In that last sentence I mentioned that word “character” as in the person portrayed in a certain role, but in terms of the defining qualities of a person when in the face of adversity this was the defining element for Batman. You see I once heard a quote from coach Mark Richt (head coach University of Georgia Football program) to where he said to the team and coaches “Gentlemen adversity doesn’t build one’s character, it reveals it!” This quote was profound to me. I never thought of it quite like that up until that point in time. This statement is so true.

If you think about that statement and compare it to today’s problems with society a lot of people are showing their true colors. Politicians do this all the time. Now I know it’s a leap in order to try and get votes, but some people’s true colors are really shown in the way that they go out and attack others. The same thing can be seen in your exercise program or lack thereof. If you go to the doctor and get a bad report on your health are you going to blame some other person, come up with some other reason for your failed progress, or are you going to look into the mirror, accept responsibility, and make a change?

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In addition to all of this I know we all go through different challenges, but I will tell you that no matter the difficulty of your personal challenges chances are someone else out there in the world has had it worse! I mean a lot worse. This is what I always try to remind myself of when something doesn’t go as planned in my own life. I’ve always remained in check. Sure I like to have a confident head and maintain a positive outlook, but I am human too. God has always kept me in check. With building this business I’ve experienced a lot more downs than ups and when things are going great there have been challenges in my personal life or my health. When the personal life has been great there have been challenges in my business. It’s like God is keeping me humble. 🙂 Well, at least he’s keeping me in check!

Overcoming adversity will no doubt reveal what kind of person you are to the world and most importantly to yourself! I think it takes a strong character in order to find the necessary strength to overcome adversity. You know strength can only come from a struggle. It’s not something that can be handed to you. It has to be earned. This is what The Dark Knight had to realize. He had to find the strength to overcome adversity like never before.

Well this concludes the 1st part of the overcoming adversity series of blogisodes. I know it was rather opinionated and kind of different compared to the usual in your face approach that I normally take, but I hope you get where I’m coming from. I am always looking to try and challenge myself and I just hope that you do the same. This should start in your training and the idea is that from your training this growth will spread into other parts of your life as well.

Your questions and comments are welcome in the comment box below this article. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend.



I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Brandon,
    Keep up the great work. I agree with everything you had to say regarding adversity, etc.
    There are way too many people living with a victim mentality; no matter what happens to them, it is never their fault, so they never learn to reflect on the matter to become stronger. I try to just pray for those people, because It’s not possible for them to benefit from constructive criticism. I’m not trying to be above, or judge anyone, but I wish I could help others crawl out of that self-destructive pit of delusions.

    1. Rhino I appreciate you taking the time to post this. Yes, this is the whole point of this 2 part series. I wanted to communicate a widespread problem that we are faced with today and it’s only getting worse. We live in scary times, but if I can offer a unique perspective that gets through to folks then hopefully that problem will start to diminish at least in some small way. Hope you are well bro! Thanks for commenting and please come back and do it more often! 🙂

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