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Inspiration can be found anywhere if you are looking for it, but true inspiration comes when you least expect it.  I am lucky to work with middle school students and college students that provide inspiration for me daily.  These kids ( I say kids loosely, referring to anyone under the age of 22) are resilient and don’t allow themselves to become victims of their circumstance.  Every so often I witness one of these kids absolutely thrive in the face of adversity.  They overcome obstacles and tragic events that give them every right to curl up in a ball and feel bad for themselves, but because of their own intestinal fortitude and desire to succeed, they push on.  They thrive.

A few days ago, one of these aforementioned “kids” had their father pass away.  It was devastating, and all happened rather quickly.  We were completely ready and willing to give her a “pass,” if you will, for the week leading up to it and of course, the week or so after it.  She didn’t need to come to practice or games to prove herself, and we didn’t expect her to.  But, she was there every day during his last few days.  100% there mentally and physically.  She didn’t use it as an excuse when she messed up, and she made sure that her issue wouldn’t be a distraction to the team.   Less than 48 hours after his passing, this kid was back on the field, ready to play.  No questions asked and not looking for any kind of sympathy.  She was just there and ready to thrive.  She has served as more than just a great athlete to the team.  She has served as symbol of strength and a reminder that we are in full control of how we respond to any situation.

Every day we hit speed bumps.  People let us down.  Tasks become harder than we imagined.  We get overwhelmed.  Through all of this, the one constant is that WE have full control over how we respond to any situation.  No matter how difficult your day, week, or year may be, you can still flash your resiliency.  You can prove to yourself and everyone in your corner that YOU will define your circumstances, not the other way around.  If these kids can find a way to thrive, so can you.

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