An Olympian's Best Advice for "Bouncing Back" from Holiday Stress

12/14/2009 05:18 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011


As you read my blogs, keep in mind that these stories, anecdotes and tools are all based around my philosophy for success: THE TURTLE EFFECT. The Turtle Effect was taught to me by my mother when I was a young girl. She told me that I could achieve anything I wanted to as long as I remembered to have a soft inside, a hard shell, and be sure to stick my neck out. I hope this amazing anecdote will inspire you on that path to find your "hard shell" in order to reach your goals....

My apologies go out to my usual followers for not being able to post an article this past week. My computer crashed and, despite promises to back up my data weekly, I realized that a month had slipped by since my last backup. I reached out to three different computer "gurus" and each one virtually guaranteed they could fix it. I received three different diagnoses; two of which would have cost me a new computer. As many of you can relate, I was lost without access to my computer and with each setback, I became more and more tempted to let my hard shell crumble. I had to remind myself how I'd overcome the stress of setbacks when I competed. I thought it would be very fitting to include my best story and tool for overcoming adversities. With the Holidays just around the corner and so many stressed out by year-end deadlines, family occasions, and shopping, I thought the story many help you leap these hurdles as well. It has helped me "bounce back" from an endless number of stressful situations.

To be successful, you need to...

Have a hard shell... Overcome Your Adversities

Bounce back

Nikki's Perspective: When my doctor told me I was going to have to push through agonizing pain if I was ever to get back to jumping again, I knew I needed some external focus to remind me to keep my tough outer shell. The "bounce back" activity below explains why I took a Super Ball with me to the gym every day as I was working on my comeback. When I thought I reached as much pain as I could take, and wanted to give up, I would bounce my Super Ball and remind myself to stay strong.

Your Tools for Success: General George S. Patton stated, "Success is how high you bounce when you hit rock bottom." We all reach that low point at times, and need to know we can rebound. If you don't stay strong when adversity hits, you certainly aren't going to bounce back very well.

Buy yourself a Super Ball today to use as a visual reminder to keep yourself strong. When challenges present themselves, bounce your Super Ball to remind yourself to have that hard outer shell so you can bounce back. You'll notice that a cotton ball doesn't bounce back quite as well!

It helps to have some small reminder that no obstacle is too big to overcome. For some it may be a quote or phrase they call to mind. For others it could be an object they keep in their pocket or pinned to the wall. For me, it is a Super Ball. And once again, my Super Ball didn't fail me. Because of that little rubber ball, I sign off with my hand shell fully intact...and, luckily, my laptop too.