Triathlon

When the Going Gets Rough

by Paula Findlay on November 6, 2012
This article originally appeared on Paula's personal website.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months wallowing in self-pity, which is a completely useless and selfish emotion. It doesn’t make anything better, it doesn’t solve problems, and it doesn’t change the past. Stepping up and making changes is ultimately what makes things better. And having a little perspective, that helps too. Sure, the past year has been rough, but my definition of rough is having a sports-related injury and having low iron and not winning an Olympic medal. In the real world, that’s not rough. Rough is having your home destroyed by a giant hurricane, or being Lance Armstrong, or having cancer. We found out a few weeks ago that my dad has cancer in his colon. He’s going in for a big surgery tomorrow to try and remove it. This would usually be considered a self-pity worthy situation, but recognizing that this is not a productive emotion, he’s decided not to wallow in it. He’s keeping an optimistic attitude while suffering only the occasional grump-attack. But we’d all have grump-attacks surviving on a diet of jell-O and apple juice. His situation has forced me to take a new perspective on the past year. No matter how hard I hit rock bottom, my rock bottom wasn’t really that bad. He’s showed that optimism and positivity are powerful tools when the going gets rough. Cancer sucks, but if anyone can beat it then this guy can! 

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