Life’s Curveballs

A baseball player pitching with spin on the ball. (motion blur on ball)

Learn how to Hit them Outta the Park!

Life is constantly throwing us curveballs.  How many times have you started something like an exercise program or diet  only to have a stressful or busy time come up in your life??

The common practice is to put exercise or nutrition on the back burner for the time being and hope that we will get back to it when the dust settles and life returns to normal.  But here’s the thing… soon as the dust settles, another curveball gets thrown at us. That’s life.

Earlier this week, I received an update from one of my clients who has been facing one stressful challenge after another, but continues to hold his head up and keeps persevering. I have been thinking about what he wrote in his text to me and wanted to share it with you. Here’s what he wrote:

(I’m) getting lots of practice handling stress, like I needed more. You have to tell yourself it never ends. (It’s) part of life and (you) just have to embrace the challenges. Society does such a disservice selling us happy endings, so (it’s) not real life.  Challenges actually make us grow.

Inspiring, isn’t it?  It’s taken me 46 years to realize this, but the fact is we all have “STUFF” going on in our lives. Stressful, sometimes horrible STUFF.  No one is exempt.  It might be an ailing parent, a challenging situation with a teenager or marriage difficulties. It might be something big or something small,  but we all have challenges.  The growth comes in the way we handle those curveballs.

Here are three ways to grow from life’s challenges that will help you get ready for the next time a curveball is thrown at you.

1. Become More Flexible in Your Expectations

Remembering that change is a constant and keeping this as a conscious thought will allow you to better handle adversity when it comes your way. The element of surprise is taken out and since you have a degree of flexibility about life, you are not left standing there stunned in life’s batter’s box.

2. Learn from Past Experience

While the crazy curves that life presents can be frustrating, do what the batter does – take a deep breath, figure out what you need to do to adjust to the changes in your life, and step back into the box. Knowing that you have handled difficult times in the past will give you the confidence  you need to successfully deal with them in the present or future.

3. Practice

The hitters who can handle the curveballs are the ones who practice, practice, practice. They take lots of swings in batting practice, they study scouting reports, and they use each opportunity against a wily pitcher to add to their repertoire of how to handle tricky situations.  You can look at problems this way, too.  They STINK while they’re happening, but with practice you can learn how to solve them more easily and not be broadsided by them.

Here’s something to consider…..a healthy diet and exercise is going to make these challenges EASIER. You have to eat anyway, right? So why not make healthier choices?  The healthier you are, the better your body is equipped to handle the curveballs – both mentally and physically.  The same holds true for exercise. It will make you sleep better so that you are better equipped to take on life’s unexpected challenges.

Here’s another tip: don’t be afraid to get some support As a health coach, it is my job (and passion!) to help you stay accountable to yourself and your health goals.  My 360-degree approach to health coaching takes into account all the aspects in your life, including the stress.

The next time that curveball gets thrown your way, you’ll recognize it for what it is and hit it out of  the park!