Your going to get hit one day with an insurmountable task. Here’s how I found inspiration and became Adrian Peterson to conquer mine.
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For as long as I can remember I have been a pro athlete.
I was Michael Jordan hitting that last second shot at the free throw line to beat the Jazz.
I was Randy Moss streaking down the field to catch a one handed touchdown.
Most importantly, I was Adrian Peterson (AP) coming back from injury.
Flash back to Christmas Eve 2011. The Minnesota Vikings are playing the Washington Redskins. Fresh out of halftime, AP hits the hole and takes a hard shot to the knee, ending his 2011 season. Torn ACL and MCL. Just like that, the career of one of football’s greats is in jeopardy. If he does make it back – what kind of player will he be?
Flash forward to March 13, 2014. It’s 5:30 A.M and I’m doing my final workout before my first bodybuilding competition. I am days away from strutting my stuff on a stage in front of hundreds of people I’ve never met. I walk to get a drink of water and it happens… a pain my limited vocabulary would never be able to describe, goes shooting down my left leg. Herniated disc. Is getting a drink of water really going to be the swan song of my athletic career? If I do recover, will I be able to live my life like I used to? Oh shit I have a competition in 2 days, will I make it?
Let’s head back to Week 1 of the 2012 football season – A mere 9 months post AP injury.
Injuries like this usually take 7-9 months to get back to “normal” activity and longer for NFL level activity. AP starts week 1 and his MVP/Freak of Nature campaign started. He ends up rushing for 2,097 yards, just 8 yards shy of the all-time record along with taking home the Offensive Player of the Year and MVP awards.
The entire 2012 season showed just what a work ethic, determination and ignoring “experts” can do.
FINDING INSPIRATION: FINDING YOUR AP
IF HE CAN, WHY CAN’T I?
After my initial freak out was over, it was all about recovery. The competition was a wash, $150 down the toilet. But then I thought about my wife. How in the 8 months we have been married I’ve been layed up for herniated disc related issues for 4 of them. YEAH married life!
Then I remembered AP. Plastered all over during the offseason before the 2012 season, was AP rehabbing his knee. The guy was working like a man possessed. Day in and day out for hours he was working to get back to at least where he was pre-injury. While other guys were enjoying their families and the time off, he was grinding like I’ve never seen anyone do.
It was settled.
I would need to be AP, obviously minus the money and the fame because that’s too much of a headache. I’ll just take his work ethic and mindset.
Two months later, I had surgery to remove the disc that was hitting the nerve. Road to recovery starts now!
QUITTING IS NOT AN OPTION
Watching how hard he worked showed that he was not going to quit no matter what happened. I’m sure he failed or pushed it too much as certain points but the quit was not there.
After my surgery, I found some Facebook groups and forums of people dealing with this injury and how they recovered. A lot of people altered their life after a herniated disc. They stopped doing certain activities like weight lifting or just stopped life and felt sorry for themselves. They were too scared to try.
I didn’t like this path, I’d prefer to see if I could AP this injury.
So I adopted his no quit attitude. F that noise of people saying what I can or can’t do after the injury. I want to be the benchmark of what can be done.
Not lifting heavy weights was not an option for me.
IF IT WERE EASY EVERYONE WOULD DO IT
Seeing AP grind through workouts, sweat pouring down his face, him wincing in pain as he pushes his body to the next level – I knew this road would not be an easy one to navigate.
When things got tough, which they did, or when my lower back would swell up – I kept AP in my mind and pushed forward.
I didn’t push blindly because that’s just stupid. I listened to my body. Took my foot off the gas when I needed to and punched it when I knew I could. Trusting the process the entire time.
In the end I put together my own, less publicized, AP recovery. I am now bigger and a hell of a lot stronger than I was pre-injury. I can honestly say my life is so much better since then. All thanks to AP and a hard hit on Christmas Eve 2011.
I’m not going to let you get out of here without something you can use. I mean you stuck around through this story.
FINDING YOUR AP
Life is undoubtedly going to hit you with something that seems impossible. Instead of finding work arounds or avoiding the situation all together, tackle that shit head on. Grab it by the short hairs and make it yours.
Regardless of your obstacle, there is someone in the world has already conquered it with less than you. Find their story. Facebook groups, forums, stories anything that will give you show you their path.
When things get tough for you, and they will, think of that person who was able to accomplish it and their limitations. How hard their struggle must have been and that they would have loved to start in your situation.
Or in my case, the immense intensity that was infectious.
ADOPT A NO QUIT ATTITUDE
Quitting is not an option. The road will get bumpy and it might seem impossible at times – never settle for the easy road. This sounds super cheesy, but you deserve the better than that.
Almost everyone takes the easy road. Stand out from the crowd.
I still get people that find out what happened to me that are amazed I am where I am. Especially the fact that I’m stronger now and deadlifting double my bodyweight.
To me it was inevitable that I would be back to normal, other people, unfortunately, don’t see it that way.
If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please share it on Facebook or Twitter below. 2 out of 3 people are obese today, let’s start a change.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. DID YOU HAVE A SEEMINGLY INSURMOUNTABLE TASK AND CRUSHED IT? LET ME KNOW HOW YOU DID IT.