Resilience, as defined by Mirriam Webster is, “the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.” In other words, we humans, if we’re resilient, are going to bounce back when boyfriends betray, girlfriends go away, sons are taken, divorce divides, disease descends, gravity grabs, and all kinda adversity knocks us on our collective asses. The truth is there is no bouncing back. Resilient or not, we cannot go back.
Back in 2008 I crash landed after taking flight, momentarily, on a mountain bike while descended Breckinridge mountain 8. I was knocked unconscious, broke five ribs, a collarbone, and unhinged my right shoulder. It took some time to heal and rehab to say the least. Today, my deformed right shoulder is ugly and unhinged. It sticks up as if trying to poke through my scarred and not so attractive skin. There is no bouncing back for my right shoulder. None. No matter what I do, it’s never going back the way it once was. Fact.
The same is true for all adversity. You and I do not bounce back. The resilient response is through – move through. As Eric Greitens writes in his book titled, Resilience, “To be resilient, you must understand that your objective is not to come to rest, because there is no rest. Your objective is to use what hits you to change your trajectory in a positive direction.” Hemingway further hammers it home when he famously wrote this: “The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
So, friend, take solace in knowing you are not alone and your aim isn’t to bounce back. It feels good to let go of that aim, at least for me. Make your peace with your bumps and bruises and even some of those who seemingly still provide ’em. Your aim is to keep moving – move through. Thanks, Rich Reda, for introducing me to Eric. And, thanks Grappy for giving me an example of what a man looks like when he resolves to move through.
Move through, friend. Move through…