In life, there are bound to be things that will happen to you that can be seen as unfortunate. Whether it be losing a family member or loved one, or getting ill, there are tons of hurdles that will come up over time. Some people may find it hard to remain positive in these situations, but what if that was the key to change?
Former Olympic skater Scott Hamilton has had his fair share of successful moments winning four U.S and world championships in a row as well as taking home the gold in the 1984 Olympics. But he also experienced a great deal of trials.
Hamilton was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1997 and after battling that he suffered two brain tumors in 2004 and 2010. After thinking that was enough, he found out that the brain tumor had returned in 2016.
Rather than getting upset or scared, Hamilton decided to face it head on and ‘set the tone’ of the situation by acting positive and hopeful. And after a prayer from his wife he was ready to keep fighting.
1. In an interview with PEOPLE magazine, Hamilton met and discussed his battle with cancer, and how he managed to maintain a positive and hopeful outlook on his future.
2. He explained that although he was initially thinking ‘Okay that’s not fair alright,’ he joked. ‘I’ve had cancer. I get a pass for a while.’
3. After the initial disappointment, Hamilton told his wife about the situation and instead of getting upset or crying, she took his hand and began to pray. Hamilton described it as a very powerful moment that ‘changed everything’ for him.
4. Hamilton explained that although he was born with the tumors, he had never been previously symptomatic when he had been skating and growing up.
5. As a parent, Hamilton learned that you ‘set the stage.’ He explained that if you have a certain attitude with your kids, they will pick up on these emotions and reflect them.
6. When one of his sons asked him if the tumor had come back, Hamilton simply said ‘Yeah it is! And you know, here we go again.’ rather than taking a somber tone.
7. This was Hamilton’s way of setting the tone. He understands the devastation that cancer brings to many families having lost his mom to the sickness which he said changed his life forever.
8. Rather than letting these misfortunes get him down Hamilton actively chooses to celebrate everything he does, and celebrate life.
9. The first thing Hamilton teaches to skaters at his skating academy is how to get up because ‘We’re going to fall,’ he explains. This can also be applied to life.
10. In a chapter in his most recent book The Great Fight he explains that this inspiration came from watching skater Kristi Yamaguchi. Titled ‘Fall Down, Get Up, and Smile Like Kristi Yamaguchi’ he explains that she had once taken a hard fall and got up and continued to skate and smile as if nothing ever happened.
11. After noticing that Kristi remained joyful, even after falling down, he realized that there was a life lesson there. ‘I’m going to fall down, I’m going to make mistakes,’ he told People. ‘But it’s what’s next: it’s how you get up.’
12. Hamilton believes that the more times you get up, the stronger you will be to face the next thing that happens.
13. With this mindset, Hamilton continued to address the tumor that had returned and in February he became part of a medical miracle.
14. Doctors were baffled when they discovered that the tumor had shrunk on it’s own with no treatment, even though they had originally planned on operating.
15. Blown away, Hamilton asked if doctors could explain and the surgeon simple said ‘God. That’s it.’ After hearing this Hamilton was overcome with emotion. ‘I was just a blubbering mess, like, I’m not worthy of this,’ he explained. ‘There’s so many other people out there who could benefit from this miracle.
16. Back in the clear, Hamilton said that his wife’s initial prayer after the third diagnosis was what kept him going. ‘I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest imagination,’ said Hamilton who is living with no fear of the future. He’s ready for whatever comes next.