Resilience and Perseverance with Coach Steven Bentley

Resilience and Perseverance with Coach Steven Bentley
We're back with a timely and very necessary reminder from Endurance Coach, Steven Bentley.  I knew that if I was feeling personally worn down, exhausted, discouraged and in need of some gentle talk and reminders about resilience and perseverance in my personal life, the rest of you all might be as well. So I turned to Steve and he's sharing here his personal formula for building and strengthening our resilience and perseverance.

Resilience and Perseverance with Coach Steven Bentley

Endurance Coach Steven Bentley for bluerubAs an athlete and endurance performance coach for the last 30+ years I’m used to things not always going as planned.  2020 really took things to another level though.  It’s been a crazy year so far but really it isn’t much different than life in general.  Things don’t go the way we expect. 
Being resilient though through all that’s happening right now allows us to keep our eyes on our goals and not tuck our heads into a shell and just wait for it to be over.   Wishing this was all over (something we can’t control) misses out on a huge opportunity to develop and refine a great muscle in our character - being resilient in the face of adversity and having perseverance when we’re going through the much to reach our goals. 
Both of those characteristics are so important in life - never more so than right now.  When things get tough and our goals are challenged the best response is actually to get more focused on what we want.  That resilience can keep you in the game longer so that we have the opportunity to do a few things:
  1. Learn from what’s going on;
  2. Adapt our strategy;
  3. Regroup and forge ahead towards our goals.  
Oddly enough having resilience leads really nicely to perseverance.  Don’t think having these qualities though will make getting your goals easier, it will just allow you to push through to eventually get more of what you want.  It really is about persevering through the muck to get to the clear sailing.  Along the way we’ll learn what we need to know instead of just giving up.   

So, I’m not going to roll up into a little ball and just expire, and I don’t think you are either.  I’ve gotten to where I am in life from pushing through and going after what I want to accomplish.  The events of 2020 have really just solidified to me the importance of having resilience and perseverance in my life.   Of the 100s of races that I’ve trained for and raced in and the 1000s of events I’ve coached people to over the last 30+ years, I can’t think of anywhere in my life that everything went perfectly. 
Life just isn’t like that. 
For racing I don’t think anything ever went perfectly smoothly leading up to any race.  There’s always going to be something that pushes us off our line and threatens to derail us from our goals.  Life is just like that as well.  It rarely ever goes the way we lay things out.  That’s good though.  Where would the challenge be if everything was easy and we accomplished everything we set out for.  I know, every once in a while it sure would be nice to have things go smoothly.  By nurturing and growing a resilient nature and persevering through the trials we face not only will we reach our goals more often, but we’ll also be so much more satisfied when we reach those goals.  The satisfaction comes as much from what we learn along the way and what we had to go through to get the goal than it ever is about the goal itself.  Being resilient and having perseverance in the face of all that’s going against you makes any goal so much sweeter and more likely that you’re going to reach it too.

Have you ever noticed that?  The more you commit to a goal the more likely there are to be things coming at you to take you off your plan.  Just be ready for what you don’t expect and focus on controlling what you can.  You really only can control three things in your life …
  1. What you put out (your effort), 
  2. What you bring in (what you allow into your mind and body), and 
  3. Your attitude.
Control what you can and learn from the things you can’t control and keep moving towards your goals.  It’s really the only way to get through this life and keep growing as you move towards all you want.  Being resilient and having perseverance though will keep you in the game long enough to bring it all together.  

I’ll leave you with this thought though.  It’s REALLY hard to do all this yourself, especially when things go sideways.   So do this….  

Before you actually need Resilience and Perseverance go find a R&P Partner.  You guessed it.  That’s your Resilience and Perseverance Partner.  Your R&P Partner is someone to remind you of how innately awesome you are and all that you’re capable of.  They’ll help remind you of what you can control and help keep you in the game.  Developing resilience and perseverance is like growing a muscle.  The more you do it the better you’ll get at it.



Val Sanford

Val Sanford 

Growing up in Southern California, Val played competitive softball (coached by her father), was a gymnast, swimmer, ran cross country, fished, hiked, kayaked, and as an adult, experimented in rock climbing and golf. In 2010 she was diagnosed with a rare cancer; a liposarcoma was growing on her sciatic nerve. Once this tumor was removed, she has been cancer-free!

Left with significant nerve damage, she now has limited mobility. Yet still moves and engages in the world around her. She snorkels, walks, travels, and practices yoga to combat chronic pain and to maximize her ability to keep moving. She works with a personal trainer, acupuncturist, physical therapist, and massage therapist to maximize her mobility.

She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her dog and gets her fins on so she can swim with the fish any time she can.  

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