To reach big goals, you must train yourself to face adversity. By actively putting yourself in difficult and unpleasant circumstances, you increase your resilience for overcoming even more difficult situations later. Building resilience through adversity training will make you safer and more successful.

Training for adversity.

Training for adversity.

Here are a few examples:

  • When training her students for the triathlon swim, a coaching friend, Traci, sometimes has them swim blindfolded while she bumps their head and arms. Why? Because the start of a crowded triathlon can be frenzied, with people accidentally kicking and smacking as you crawl stroke blindly ahead.
  • My uncle Bob ran about one hundred marathons and during training he intentionally ran in driving rainstorms so that he would be used to it, in case of bad weather on race day.
  • To prepare for our upcoming high-altitude climbs in Mexico and Nepal, my climbing friends and I trained by hiking 8 hours yesterday through roaring wind and stinging snow.  Here is a wild video (38 seconds) at the end of our training day; you can just barely hear us planning our descent back to town for donuts and tequila!

It might seem crazy to intentionally seek uncomfortable and hostile conditions. But, as the examples above show, training under tough circumstances prepares you to endure some possibly rougher days ahead.

Training for adversity now will allow you to handle even greater adversity later.