Dear Warrior - Run Towards Adversity

Dear Warrior,

“It’s hard to go months and months without seeing a breakthrough, but it just takes one moment to realize that all the struggle was worth it.”

This week we caught up with our friend, Josie Baxter. She took us back to her sophomore year of high school when she tore her ACL in a softball game. An ACL tear is considered one of the most challenging injuries to recover from not only because of the physical pain, but because of the mental toll that it takes on an individual. 

She told us about the painstaking process of relearning how to walk, then run, and eventually play softball again. Because of the physical trauma caused by the injury, the muscles in Josie’s leg were weakened to the point that she could not walk or even lift her foot off the ground. She told us of the times where she would sit in physical therapy trying to lift her leg off the ground with no success. 

“Walking doesn’t seem that hard until you can’t pick up your leg...I got so frustrated with myself because I couldn’t even pick up my foot enough to take another step.”

It took nearly a year until Josie was back on the field competing with her team but she described the feeling that came from hitting the record-breaking home run for her school during her comeback season as surreal and worth it. Looking back, she reflected on how lonely and challenging her recovery was but also of the personal growth that she experienced through it. The thing with hardship, Josie explained, is that “it’s a mental journey that will help you lot and you’ll grow as a person but you often don’t see that until much later.” 

Nobody enjoys the fire of adversity, Josie surely didn’t. But now that she has made it through, she can see the personal growth, wisdom, and strength that she has because of her experiences. It was uncomfortable, lonely, and there were days where she felt like the hardship would swallow her up. But she let the struggle make her strong. You can do the same.

We live in a world that seeks comfort and because of this, hardship and adversity may make us feel like we want to run and hide. Many see adversity and loss as a threat, something to be avoided at all costs. 

But what if we reframed the way we saw hardship? What if rather than a threat, we saw it as an opportunity to grow? 

What if we ran towards the fire of adversity rather than away from it? Knowing that in time, it would refine us and strengthen us as it did for Josie? Just like a lump of coal must be put through the fire before it becomes a diamond, our old ways of thinking and our perceived limits must be challenged so that we can push past them to become fearless. 

Don’t run from the hardships that you encounter, Warrior. Success is not measured by how well we avoid adversity, but by how we respond when it does come. At some point or another, we will all walk through the fire. We will all be challenged. We will all be stretched to what feels like our limits. Lean into these moments.

Allow your adversity to challenge you and teach you lessons that you would have learned no other way. Hard is not bad, it is simply a challenge waiting to be conquered.

Girl, you got this!

Team Fearless, inspired by Josie Baxter

About Josie Baxter 

Josie was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. She now attends Morningside College where she plays softball and studies biology and chemistry. Upon graduation, Josie plans to attend school to become a Physician's Assistant. Her favorite part about being a college athlete is having the opportunity to make memories and play with her best friends and teammates.  

Allow your adversity to challenge you and teach you lessons that you would have learned no other way. Hard is not bad, it is simply a challenge waiting to be conquered.