Q&A: Adela's Perseverance Through Obstacles

What are a few obstacles that could’ve set you back, yet you persevered?
Breast cancer was a bitch. It was like I was forced to take on another job in addition to everything else I was doing. I had never felt healthier in my life and suddenly I was told that I had cancer! It was just so time consuming, researching treatment options, shopping around for doctors and getting second opinions, endless hours in waiting rooms. Then days after my bilateral mastectomy I was told I needed radiation therapy! I wanted to punch someone, only I couldn’t lift my arms.

I was determined to get my active lifestyle back and just kept making healthy choices, doing my daily exercises and resting when I could. A couple of months later, I played in my first real roller derby scrimmage. I thought I was pretty badass that day. Even though I didn’t play that well, I knew I had crushed my cancer.

What is one of the most important components of perseverance?
Belief. We can’t do anything without the belief that it is possible. If you can imagine it, you can do it.

How do you think one can become more resilient?
Ironically, you can become more resilient by allowing yourself to fail. Every time you fail, you grow, you learn, you become stronger. In fact, failing is the only way to truly grow.

Does a person feel accomplished once they persevere through one obstacle?
I think it depends on how challenging that obstacle was. I do know that success begets success. Overcoming one small obstacle can give you the confidence to overcome a larger one.

Is perseverance a personality trait you unleash through practice or a mindset you develop?
It’s a combination of the two. It’s like looking at a mountain lake on a summer’s day and knowing that the water is freezing cold. You can swim in it or not. You can envision yourself swimming across it to the shore. You can imagine what it will feel like when you get to the other side. And then you can dive in and do it.

Or you can just look at it.