“Jake, we’ve run out of funding. We’re shutting down the project temporarily, but we have to let go of everyone. Here’s your last check.”
And just like that, the rug was yanked out from underneath me. The consulting project I’d been working for two years had disappeared overnight, and despite having a few small projects here and there, I was in trouble. The idea of Compete Every Day was there – but it wasn’t an apparel line, it wasn’t really anything more than the idea at that point. I was out of a client, out of a source of income, and out of my comfort zone.
And it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Each month, Compete Every Day will interview inspirational athletes, entrepreneurs, leaders, & competitors. Each of these individuals will vary in their backgrounds & professions but share the same traits of competing for their life. This week’s interview features former CrossFit Games competitor Karen Pierce, of CrossFit Jaakahru & LivingAmped.com.
Last year, Karen was diagnosed with cervical cancer & life was thrown into a whirlwind. Karen blogged about her experience with cancer, CrossFit training, and her focus on rebuilding her body in 2015.
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein
How often is the excuse, “If I was only born with ‘x'” or “If I came from ‘x’ like this person“, used in the place of action toward success? Too many of us, myself included, have found ourselves wishing we had different circumstances instead of using that energy to change our current circumstances. We let the present circumstance define us rather than defining ourselves by what we do in that circumstance.
You’ll win some, and you’ll lose some. You’ll endure stretches where it feels as if every time you take one step forward, you’re knocked back two or three. You continue to press forward, but are slowed to a walk, then a stagger, and then a crawl.
But still, you advance.
It hurts. It’s damn depressing and heartbreaking during stretches. Words of encouragement from others fall on deaf ears. Discouraged, and devastated, onward you must go. It’s not easy. No, it’s far from a simple thing. Your body is wanting to quit. Doubt whispers lies into your ears, allowing your thoughts to drift toward questioning if you truly have “what it takes.” Your heart wonders if it can continue to handle the small victories that seem overshadowed by larger disappointments.
“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
It was like a kick in the gut that I just couldn’t shake. My breath was short. The negative thoughts and emotions ran rampart through my head. I honestly had no idea where to turn. I’d leveraged so much of my finances and put so much hope into our booth at the CrossFit Games.
And I didn’t even come close to expectations. I had just taken a large setback and it was near impossible to find any silver lining. Everyone can relate to this feeling. It’s that moment when you look at the list of names who made the team and yours wasn’t on it. The moment when you receive the rejection letter from the college you spent your entire life hoping to attend. Or the game when you fall just one point shy of winning.
You expect this moment to your long-awaited “tipping point” on the road to success. Instead, you’re left with a a sickening, gut-wrenching feeling and unexpectedly fall just shy of victory. I spent the next week just trying to get my bearings. For someone who tries to breathe positivity into others, I found all the right words to tell myself (and others) but nothing seemed to stick or ease my pain. How can you respond when staring one of your own biggest failures directly in the eye? How can you move from the feeling of defeat that seems to disrupt everything in your life, from your routine to even the ability to get the smallest amount of work done?