My USAF story- the day was March 3rd, 1976. I arrived on a flight in San Antonio at 9:00 pm. I boarded a bus and was shuttled to Lackland AFB. By 11:00, my head was shaven. I was soon introduced to my Squadron Commander along with 47 other newly enlisted members of the Air Force.
We were awakened at 5:30 am by bright lights. The Commander told us that we had 30 minutes to shower up, 48 of us for 6 showers. At 6:00 am, we had all showered-up.
He comes in and yells- "You got my showers wet!"
Oh, how was that not going to happen?
An hour later, I lined up for breakfast and was served 2 pancakes. At the end of the line, I added my usual dose of syrup. Suddenly, I received a jab into my side. It was the Commander.
"Hanson, you wouldn't be fat if you didn't use so much syrup!" I was 6'1", 185 #'s that day...not fat!
Nothing we did was going to be right for a while. My perspective was disrupted with a massive injection of Adversity.
I was raised in Weston, CT, a quiet town, secluded from the rest of the world. All I had to worry about was my next golf match or basketball game. Aside from being turned down by a few girls for dates, I hadn't faced any real adversity in life.
Meet Bernardo, one of my brilliant-minded students from Ecuador.
A few days ago, we were chatting away like we do, and Bernardo suddenly said to me-
"If adversity hasn't been forced into you, then force it into yourself."
Wow, that's the moment I realized that joining the USAF in 1976 was my way of forcing adversity into myself at a time in which it hadn't yet been forced into me.
If adversity hasn't been forced into you, then force it into yourself...is a brilliant power-point!
Bernardo went on to say-
"Adversity is imposing something unpleasant onto myself. It's only when I got used to doing unpleasant things that I became a much better person. The action of just doing it makes me grow."
Just great, I'll leave it at that...thank you Bernardo!
In reflecting back over 46 years, my greatest growth spurt began the night of March 3rd, 1976.
Go shave your head...Adversity!