I am resiliently impressed by a tennis star – not Roger, Serena, Venus, Novak or Rafael. It’s actually Marion Bartoli. Some of you may say, “Who?’” She recently had an amazing ride to win Wimbledon.
But that’s not the reason I am impressed with her. It’s about something she did for herself. She listened to her inside-self and recently retired. Unlike her, most of us don’t have the finances to retire comfortably yet.
She does, but more than that, Marion said she had persevered, persisted and was patient (my three Ps of resilience) with her body until it began breaking down again. She’s come back from a number of injuries in her 28 years. Not this time. She is doing something for herself, which too often we forget is the most important part of our life’s resilience.
As the initial ESPN article began a week or so ago:
“With her body aching after another loss, Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli decided to retire Wednesday night, saying she could no longer deal with the continuous pain on the court.
Her tearful announcement at the Western & Southern Open came less than two months after she pushed through the pain to win her greatest championship on Wimbledon's chewed-up grass.
''My body was really starting to fall apart and I was able to keep it together, persevere through the pain - with a lot of pain - throughout this Wimbledon and make it happen,'' the 28-year-old French player said, tears running down her cheeks. ''That was probably the last little bit of something that was left inside me.”
I think many times we discount ourselves and do something just for others, to make money, buy nice things – or whatever unique reason each of us has to do what we do.
Part of resiliency, of course, is overcoming challenges, dusting ourselves off and getting back in the game. It’s also about effectively managing our emotions to jump over the next hill.
What Marion shows us, though, is that there’s a more important part of resilience sometimes ignored, or at least push to the side.
That is, what is truly best for ourselves. Her body couldn’t take it any longer, and her mind was probably a bit tired of trying to not worry about the pain…
The resilient point is we need to understand what is best for us. Then, act on it if necessary. Whether it is at our workplace, in our personal life or within our own being.
We need, as Marion tearfully did, realize our resilient limits and move on to something even better – not for anyone else but us.
Thanks, Marion, for reminding us and showing your resilience on and off the court…
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