Easter Message, 2020: The Value of Hard Times
Millions are without jobs. Hundreds of thousands are sick, and many are dying. My heart goes out to every person affected.
But we will get through this.
There is value in enduring difficult things.
The idea of staying resilient despite hardship is not a new idea. It’s in many Pre-Gutenberg texts such as the Stoic writings. And, of course, it’s in the bible. (Something to think about on this Easter Sunday.)
My grandparents grew up during the depression. Conversations with them often turn to the importance of grit. The depression surely wasn’t their fault, but they emerged from it tough as hell.
Enduring something difficult, even if it’s of no fault of your own, can make you stronger mentally and physically.
The other day I received mail from the US Department of Corrections regarding a prisoner transfer. It brought back memories. And not good ones.
When I was 25, I took the plunge of going all in on my business. And then my former accountant was busted by the feds for embezzling over 20 million dollars from local businesses. I was one of them.
He was such a sophisticated crook that it took the IRS and feds years to catch on. By the time they did, his clients (including me) were stuck with the bill for payroll taxes…plus interest and penalties.
He got 12 years; we got the bill from the IRS. And now he was being transferred. That was the notice I got.
At the time I was defrauded, I was devastated. Talk about a shitty call to make to your wife… after quitting a job working with elite athletes to go all in on your own business.
The 3:30 AM mornings and 15 hours days to build up my bank account and business were gone with a 45 second phone call.
I was devastated. Thank God I had physical training.
Because I’d spent years pushing my body, I was equipped to push myself mentally when the chips were down.
And I did. Despite the flood of bills and sky-high stress I made it through smarter, more agile, and stronger.
Now, this photo has always been funny to me. Damn, I look hungry. And as brutal as the photoshoot prep was, embracing the difficulty and self-imposing strict limits and hard training hardened my mind. The same could be said of the brutal conditioning sessions and extra workouts I did as an athlete.
Here’s a crazy thing about training and embracing tough times. When you do something incredibly difficult the satisfaction you gain on the other side is inimitable.
You can reflect back and think:
I’ve done X, so I can and will find a way to perform Y.
Now more than ever, I’m grateful for the ability to embrace physical challenges. The physical benefits of hard, strategic training are great.
But they pale in comparison to the mental benefits and the resilience you can develop.
To everyone reading this anywhere, I have the same message: Keep pushing.
Take the days one step at a time.
You won’t always be motivated and sometimes your progress may sometimes feel non-existent.
But embracing the challenges ahead and continuing to push forward day in and day out builds the most important muscle of all: Resilience.
– Eric Bach,
A.D. 12 April, 2020
The Time of Coronavirus