Writer’s Block: What’s the secret to being down, but not out?

Managing Editor
Mandy has been with ABC Newspapers since 2007, when she joined the staff as the editor of the Anoka County Union. She has been the managing editor of the UnionHerald and Blaine Spring Lake Park Life since 2014.

I’m not much of a football fan.

Mandy Moran Froemming
Mandy Moran Froemming

While I love sports I’ve never much caught the fever, and to be honest, a lot of the culture that surrounds football is pretty concerning to me.

We had the Super Bowl on at our place mostly because I didn’t want to miss the halftime show.

y son decided he wanted to create his own score sheet, practicing his kindergarten math skills adding up the points. He was running out of room on the Falcons’ side of the page.

put him to bed after we got a good thrill from Lady Gaga, and I had full intentions of shutting the game off and doing something else.

But by the time I got back to it, things were getting interesting. And like most people, I can’t resist a comeback.

Were the Falcons that bad or the Patriots that good? That’s for people who actually know about football to debate.

Love Tom Brady or hate him, clearly he is an exceptional talent.

But I am fascinated by what makes elite athletes tick. What’s going on in a player’s head, in the spotlight of millions, that allows them to orchestrate this kind of reversal?

I am guessing it is rooted in resiliency. It is a buzzword these days in everything from education to corporate success. And for good reason.

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress – such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.”

I guess we’ll put the Super Bowl under the category of workplace stressors, although not the kind any of us will experience.

But everything on that list, we’re all susceptible. I know I want to be the kind of person, and raise the kind of kid, who has the ability to rise up in the face of adversity.

Recognizing the need for resilience is one thing. Cultivating it requires more work. How do you stay not just focused under pressure, but successful?

There’s all kinds of advice on the internet, ranging from scholarly research to the recommendation to go for run or lift weights when things are tough.

I suppose each of us has to find and do the things that strengthen ourselves.

In a post-game interview after a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday, Minnesota Wild goaltender Devin Dubnyk talked about some advice doled out by coach Bruce Boudreau between periods. While the Wild was ahead on the scoreboard, they struggled with being outshot by the Jets.

Boudreau told his players, “Frustration is a useless emotion.”

Hearing that, I had my own “aha” moment. Frustration is often equated with banging your head against a brick wall. It’s not particularly solution-based, but it’s a place I find myself wallowing in from time to time.

All of us will come up against something that seems insurmountable. A cancer diagnosis. Loss of a loved one. A bankruptcy. To me, resiliency is making the shift from asking yourself “why can’t things change” to “how can I change?”

I was pleased to learn that resilience isn’t reserved for the extraordinary among us, that it is a commonly displayed characteristic, according to a report from Cornell University.

May we all be able to find our inner Brady when we need to.

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