It’s always an incredible treat to be able to tell you about the inspirational and kind-hearted people that I’ve met on my journey in wellness and longevity. Erika Sandor-Zur is no exception. She’s an amazing woman who brings her message of wellness and recovery with such bravery and–most importantly–radical honesty.
Erika Sandor-Zur went from beyond rock bottom–living only for her next hit of crack cocaine–to a sober, thriving professional athlete and loving mother to her two boys. It took over twenty years and 19 rehabs to get the second chance that many people don’t get to see, an inspirational and near-impossible feat. So, as she fights for a one-in-a-trillion chance to compete on the Center Court at a Grand Slam Tennis Final, she is spreading her story as a beacon of hope to everyone she meets, especially those who find themselves in the face of adversity with seemingly no way out.
What’s her secret? For Erika, it starts with the belief that everyone has the power to change. No matter what you’ve done in your past (or maybe even your present), you always have the power to get honest with yourself and choose to do good. For people who feel consumed by darkness and gloom, Erika says:
“If there’s a little, itty bitty light that you can find in you, grab onto it. Nurture it. Whatever trying to be better means to you, get up and try. It’s going to be hard, but failure is an opportunity to learn, practice, and try again.”
So many of us look at the challenges before us–self-inflicted or not–and go into panic mode where the big picture clouds our judgment and makes progress in our healing and success seem impossible. It’s terrifying. Imagine being the person building the Eiffel Tower or the Great Pyramids, looking way up into the sky, and thinking: “I have to get up there?!” But the reality of progress is more like a spiral staircase; if you look up to the top, it sure is daunting, but if you keep your focus on doing what it takes to get to the next step in front of your feet? You’ll be able to get moving in no time.
Instead of letting the adversity that you’re facing weigh on you, get honest with yourself about who you are and what you want to be. Acknowledge the ways in which your struggle has harmed you but also how it serves you and draw strength from the things that make your story unique. It’s not always an easy road, addressing your faults and struggles to enact change, but Erika says that “getting comfortable with being uncomfortable” was and remains to this day to be the biggest part of her recovery.
Her guiding light of radical honesty, with herself and with others, serves as the key to being confident in who she is, confident in how she connects with everyone around her, and confident in her accountability for trying every day to be better than before. Whether that’s something as big as confronting an addiction or something as seemingly small as ensuring that you are leading with kindness in every meeting you have–only you can make that change.
What does radical honesty and trying to change for the better look like for you?
P.S. Make sure you read more about Erika’s Story on her website and follow her journey to the Grand Slam. I know I will be!