Resilience and Grit

Leadership opportunities do not always present themselves, as we would like. I do not usually get too personal with you, but I’m going to today. In March, I was told that I have Osteoporosis in my spine. The diagnosis was somewhat of a surprise as my doctor for the last 10 years failed to

125 lbs of dead lifting–not my body weight!

tell me that it was progressing. Horrified, saddened, depressed, angry and a whole lot of other emotions, I changed doctors and started researching osteoporosis treatments.

Those of you that know me know that I work out. I run, practice yoga, go to boot camp and keep in shape. I felt as if my body had failed me. As someone who teaches leadership, I knew that it was my resilience and grit that was going to get me through this.

During my research, I learned that the medication doctors prescribe for osteoporosis is “safe” but does not help grow bone. It only helps from getting fractures. Its preventative and I wanted to fix it. Make it better; rebuild bone. I searched for an answer, and yes, you can build bone. It takes commitment and a plan. A plan.

A research study in Australia at Griffith University’s The Bone Clinic has had quantifiable success with women and men building new bone from specific weight bearing exercises.  Many of them deadlifting their own body weight! I went to my trainer, the excellent Nicole Santorno at Active Evolution Fitness and told her that my plan was to not take medication, and to lift weights instead. She devised a workout that specifically addressed bone development and we implemented.

I lift heavy weights twice a week. I work on balance and including high-impact work-outs into my week. I have even started playing tennis with my husband, which provides us with a fun and relaxing outlet. The gym workout is difficult and lonely sometimes. My hands are getting callouses and they burn. I do not always feel welcome in the big boy weight room.  Nevertheless, I am committed and I show-up.

What has been most remarkable is the awareness that I have brought other women when I share my story. They tell me that they have not considered bone health, and that they are going to a bone density test. They are grateful that I have shared with them.  This inspires me to keep going.

Grit and resilience. Grit is being capable of trying something new and sticking to it for a year whether you like it or not. Resilience is bouncing back from adversity and being optimistic. Therefore, I’m sticking to it and I’m optimistic.

I would love to hear your stories on grit and resilience. Send them to me and keep me motivated!

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