I started working out 5 years ago. I was able to lose around 20 lbs of fat in three months and build around 9 lbs of lean muscle mass in the first 2 years. This is how I was able to turn adversity into advantage.
But how I got on the fitness journey is a completely different story. Things in life may seem to start as adversities and only after time passes by, you may be able to identify those few key points in your life that made all the difference.
Here’s how adversities in life helped me turn my life around.
How it all started
It was 2007. I was happily married. The year before my third son was born. I was at the top of the world.
Throughout my childhood and early adulthood, I thought I was unlovable. Girls didn’t notice me. I had a hard time meeting and keeping friends. When I was finally able to get married and have children that was a dream come true for me.
All I ever wanted in life I had in 2007. I had a wife, three kids, and a job that I liked. What can a man want more in life? Right?
Well, you may think so, but wait a second.
First pivotal moment in my life
After another successful business year, my company released a yearly report. In this report, it was clearly stated the Company plans to reduce its headcount to one-fifth of the current number. They plan to keep only one in five employees they currently employ.
You didn’t have to be a genius to figure out the odds of me staying employed there. I had a 20% chance of keeping my job in the next 5 years.
I was in a state of panic. My wife was on maternity leave. My salary is our only income stream.
How will I provide for my family if I lose my job?
That was the first pivotal moment of my life and I didn’t have a clue about it when it happened.
What impact did this have?
This moment that seemed like a pure terror to me when it happened, was a blessing in disguise. I instantly started searching for solutions to the apparent problem I was facing.
Job insecurity got me thinking and looking for other ways of getting security for my family.
The idea was to get alternative income streams that would replace my salary after I lost my job.
Turbulent times of trial and terror
Easier said than done as it turned out.
But, it made me keep on working. Dusting myself off after temporary setbacks and losses and pushing on relentlessly. I just couldn’t leave my family without shelter over their head and without food on the table. That was simply not an option for me.
So I kept pushing.
I tried investing in the stock market right before the 2008/2009 market crash. We all know how it turned out. But I didn’t give up. I kept on investing using a dollar cost averaging approach.
My money was invested in various mutual funds and individual stocks on the stock market. I was losing money and wondering if I should quit.
But the money I was putting aside slowly outgrew my losses.
In 2011 my wife and I were both out of work. Luckily with everything I was putting aside, we had around 26.500 USD invested. I got a nice severance pay of around 33.000 USD and I applied for an MBA that costs around 16.000 USD.
We had to survive on our savings and what was left of my severance pay.
I tried starting one business and lost around 16,000 USD. Then another and earned around 78.000 USD. In the end, I had to close both.
How did I turn it around?
Just when we were considering selling our car to cover our living costs, I got hired. This job I got in 2012 provided enough income so we could again live normally and put something aside each month.
Not only that, I was now smarter with 5 years of investing experience. I knew what kind of investing suited my personality, so I concentrated only on one type of investment and intentionally disregarded everything else.
Now I only invest in passive income investments regardless of the investment asset class. I have investments in real estate, the stock market, and cryptocurrency.
But asset class is irrelevant. The way I invest is what matters. I concentrate only on investments that bring me passive income. It doesn’t matter if it’s yearly, quarterly, or monthly.
I’m only after the passive return on investment. I don’t care about price fluctuation.
The result of all this is a monthly passive income of around 1000-1300 USD. Still not enough for financial freedom. But, I no longer worry too much about losing my job. This is the first time I was able to turn adversity into advantage.
What does this financial turmoil have to do with my fitness journey?
When you work on improving yourself it impacts everything else in your life. I wanted to improve my finances, but only when I improved myself was I able to get ahead financially.
It helped me realize, I can improve just about anything else in my life if I want to.
How I improved my health
It also started as adversity.
In 2018 I was seriously sick. The diarrhea I got lasted more than a month.
I tried every diet my doctors prescribed and nothing worked. Out of pure despair, I decided to try taking green drinks. After a week or two, I was cured. Also, I was 11 lbs lighter.
A blessing in disguise I thought to myself. This time realizing the potential of this new pivotal moment.
Now, I intentionally started working on reversing this health issue into my health strength. The same way I started working on reversing my financial issue into my financial strength a few years ago.
And it paid off. I lost 20 lbs of fat in 3 months and gained 9 lbs of lean muscle mass in the first 2 years after starting to focus my attention on eating healthy and working out consistently.
I knew going to the gym would keep me motivated for 6 months at best. So I had to find something else that would keep me inspired and working nonstop for the rest of my life.
A lucky coincidence was stumbling upon calisthenics. The workout regimen with gamified progress that’s embedded into your training. The regimen that has kept me motivated last 5 years. That was the second time I was able to turn adversity into advantage.
Turn Adversity Into Advantage: Conclusion
If you concentrate on improving yourself and simply deny quitting, you can turn any curve ball life throws at you into a home run strike. This is how you turn adversity into advantage.
When you make one shift in your life, the next will be much easier. You will be able to recognize the potential of adversity and turn it into your strength when the opportunity presents itself.
So, when it gets hard in your life, maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. Try to embrace it, and work on it to turn adversity into advantages in your life.
Lucky Butorac writes about regular resistance training and balanced nutrition for building strength and muscle. He was able to lose 20 lbs of fat and build 9 lbs of lean muscle mass in 2 years using bodyweight training and a healthy nutrition plan.
He is also a certified skiing instructor and is actively participating in FIS Masters Cup races. In his blog, he writes about calisthenics and nutrition for strength and muscle building.