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Coach Steve being aero!

ADVERSITY: Elite level athletes deal with adversity calmly. Some get used to coping with so many day-to-day aches and pains that they just train through. There have been times when I forgot about an ongoing problem that was not serious, taking it as the current norm.

On the positive side, dealing with minor injuries without drama lets us focus on the big picture—training consistently and performing when it counts. The danger is that we cause damage when we should be stepping back, taking time to fix the problem.

It's been said many times: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." And, when you take something away it intensifies appreciation of what you've lost. Taking health, physical ability, and the opportunity to choose our destiny for granted leads to complacency.

Transcending adversity seems to be the driver behind many athletes who bring their efforts up to a new level. The physical ability was probably always there, but the mental side was not as strong until subjected to loss.

All three American winners of The Tour de France (Lemond, Armstrong, and Landis) have something in common—they dealt with adversity before their TdF win. Lemond recovered from a potentially deadly gun shot wound; Armstrong recovered from cancer (though there's more to that story), and Landis recovered from a broken hip (also more to that story). Did the adversity make them stronger?

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