Getting to the Next Level: Resilience
by Lisa Miadovnik, MSc.
Hey, you! Yes, you. What do you want for yourself?
- Do you want to have great health or mediocre health?
- Do you want to be happy or just so-so?
- Do you want to be successful or just average?
The next question is: do your daily actions support what you say you want?
So often, we say we want one thing, but then we act in other ways. We want to avoid health complications, but then we aren’t physically active every day, or we don’t eat a balanced and nutritious diet or take the necessary steps to reduce our risk of certain complications or diseases.
The first step is deciding you want to ‘do well’ and succeed in a given area. If you decide you want to be better than average, then pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone – whether in sports, in school, at work, or in other areas of your life – is an important habit to get into. Success rarely (if ever!) happens by chance; athletes don’t find themselves standing on top of a World podium by chance, and people don’t achieve their target A1cs by chance either. Doing well in anything takes planning and work. It also takes certain characteristics such as Resilience, Smart Choices, and Self-Motivation.
So what is resilience anyway?
Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and show toughness… often referred to as “bouncing back.” I remember one of my first practices with the National Team, the coach was chasing me around the ice, singling me out and yelling at me for doing things wrong. It was bad, I felt humiliated, and I left that practice feeling like I was an awful skater. In fact, 20 years later, I still sometimes leave practice feeling like a terrible skater, but I don’t give up. Resilience gets us through the hardest times. Resilience pushes us to move forward and get better.
Maybe you have had experience not making a team you wanted to play for, or have had a season where you didn’t score as many goals as you’d hoped. But if you are the hardest working player on and off the ice and refuse to give up, you will achieve your goals. That is the beauty of resilience.
With diabetes, there will be times you feel your blood sugar is caught on a roller coaster that you just can’t get off no matter how hard you try. You might encounter teammates or classmates who don’t understand your diabetes and treat you differently because of it. You might experience blood sugars that are a little out of range and prevent you from playing your best, or you may have out-of-whack blood sugars that force you to sit on the sidelines until they are in a healthy range. Regardless of the circumstance, you must show resilience and refuse to quit!
So, what are some challenges you have faced on your journey to ‘doing well’ with diabetes? How did you show your resilience, and could you have done better? While you can’t always choose your circumstance, you can always choose your response to the circumstance, so choose to be resilient! As Albert Einstein said, “You never fail until you stop trying.”
Lisa Miadovnik, MSc Exercise Physiologist, CSEP-CEP, Team Canada Senior National Synchronized Skating Team Member and Power Skating Coach for Dskate