When Life Gets Difficult, Take the Stairs

I’m a sucker for inspirational messages and motivational quotes. So much so that I’ve saved a document on my phone so that every time I read one, I jot it down to come back to later.

One that has stuck with me as I reflect on the past year is this: “There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.”


From my quick research I believe this quote was from Zig Ziglar and later used by Rory Vaden. I don’t know much about Mr. Ziglar (yet), but he has given motivational speeches and speaks a lot to those in sales (he also notes we are all salespeople to an extent). His primary emphasis seems to revolve around changing your own attitude or to be internally driven.

In the past year, I’ve seen friends and family struggle with medical conditions/diagnoses, divorce, loss of a loved one, job search and loss, difficulties with pregnancy and the list could go on.

In the physical therapy clinic, I hear the struggles and challenges often. “I don’t think I can do better.” “This progress is too slow.” “I don’t want to do that.”

I have patients who literally do not want to take the stairs. Often times, I will see someone who has had pain or difficulty with a task for more than a year who expects a quick fix… that doesn’t exist.

However, I also see, daily, patients who are able to perform a task they couldn’t just the week before.

The point of this is that we are all faced with challenges, whether they are emotional, financial, physical, etc. In order to succeed, we have to know that the easy road may not be the best road. And, there may not be an easy road that’s accessible.

Your attitude and willingness to face the challenge is the key to achieving optimal outcomes. I believe that success following the struggle is truly the most rewarding feeling you can have. For those reading this, the next time you are facing an obstacle or dealing with something difficult, remember you have the choice to take the stairs.

imageBryon Renwand, PT, DPT, CSCS, has been working with ProMedica Total Rehab since 2012, and is currently seeing patients at Total Rehab of Bedford, Mich. Bryon received his Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Toledo, where he also received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy.