the edge of fit for duty


The 2016 ESPYs were awarded on July 13, 2016.  The  ESPYs are the awards given to individuals and teams for athletic and other sports-related achievements.

Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, 25, an active duty U.S. Army Officer, was awarded the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the ESPYs.  Her life has been about being in service in the military and in service to others.

Sgt. Marks used the sport of swimming to help her heal from serious injuries she received while serving as a combat medic with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

After Sgt. Marks was injured, she was struggling through rehab and facing discharge from the Army due to her injuries.

Everyone around her seemed to seemed to have the same negative point of view, that she would be forced to retire and discharged from the Army.

A little discouraged, she called her father, a Vietnam era veteran, for inspiration.

Her father told her to take out a piece of paper and write down what was most important to her.

All she could think off was, “Fit For Duty,” so she wrote down “FFD” on a little piece of brown military paper.

Click here to view her ESPN Fit For Duty Video.

She used that little piece of paper, with the letters “FFD” to motivate herself through her struggles.

Instead of being discharged, she worked so hard at her rehab that she became a member of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program.

She worked her way back to being “fit for duty” and is still on active duty in U.S. Army today.

She also recently made headlines when she gave one of the four gold medals she won for swimming in the 2016 paralympic Invictus Games to Price Harry of England and asked him to present it to Papworth Hospital in England, as a thanks for saving her life in 2014.

Sgt. Marks became seriously ill with a life threatening  lung condition and had to be put into an induced coma at Papworth Hospital just before the 2104 Invictus Games.  That induced coma ultimately saved her life.

Sgt. Marks gave a very inspirational acceptance speech at the ESPYs.

She ended her speech by saying:

“If you’re struggling, if you’re hurting… if you ever think you’re alone. You’re not.  Whenever you think no one cares, I do.”

Click her to view her full ESPY acceptance speech.

You do not have be in the armed forces or have been severely injured to be “fit for duty” in your own life.

What is your edge of being Fit For Duty?

So how can you be Fit For Duty in your own life?  Here are four ways:

1.  Write Down The Things That Are Most Important to You in Your Own Life Right Now

Take out a piece of paper.  Write down what the most important things in your life right at this moment.  Important things like your significant other, your children, your health, your weight, your pets, etc.

Be sure to include everything that is important to you.

2. Create Your Own Fit For Duty Slogan

Summarize those important things from your list into your own personal slogan or your own personal acronym.  Write that slogan or acronym on sticky notes and place them around your home and work environment.

Repeat that slogan or personal acronym several times daily.  Use it to inspire you and keep you focused.

3.  Create A List of Action Steps Based on Your Own Fit For Duty Slogan

You need more than a slogan to be Fit For Duty in  your own life.   You need to take regular action steps.  Make of a list of short term and long term action steps associated with your Fit For Duty slogan.

Review the list frequently and check out the action steps you have accomplished.

4.  Being Fit For Duty in Your Own Life Also Means Being of Service to Others 

If you are Fit For Duty in your own life, make sure to reach out and inspire others who are struggling in their own lives.  Facing adversity, the starting point for most people is the emotion of fear.  The emotions opposite of fear are faith and love depending on your point of view.

Just remember if you are living in fear and struggling, just as Sgt. Marks said, you are not alone and there is always someone who cares…

Tell me at @SLeavich on Twitter this week how you are Fit For Duty in your own life with the hashtags: #fitforduty or #ffd.

Out There on the Edge of Everything®…

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Co-author of the award-winning and best-selling book:  The Plastic Effect:  How Urban Legends Influence the Use and Misuse of Credit Cards.

Regular columnist: Positive Impact Magazine

Follow Stephen Lesavich, PhD on Twitter: @SLesavich

Copyright © 2016, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.

Photo credit: Image courtesy of cooldesigns at FreeDigitalPhotos.net