Here’s How To Overcome Adversity and Come Out A Winner

LaRae Quy
The Startup
Published in
7 min readJun 5, 2024

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A runt of a Shetland pony named Socks helped teach me how to overcome adversity. We lived on a remote cattle ranch in Wyoming, and my grandfather bought him for me when I was four years old.

Socks had a hard and dry little heart; he only wanted to terrorize his rider. Dad would get on him, and he was a well-mannered pony. However, I couldn’t get him to do anything when I got on him. Worse yet, when Dad wasn’t looking, Socks would kick up his heels to see how much it would take to buck me off.

As time passed, I got very worried because Dad said I wouldn’t get a “real” horse until I learned to ride Socks. I worked at it and finally rode Socks about half a mile down the meadow. We had to cross a ditch to go further. Socks turned his neck to get a good look at me before he let loose and bucked high and fast as he crossed the ditch. I went flying through the air.

Dad watched and saw the whole thing. I was humiliated; I cried and walked back to the house, but my Dad caught Socks and made me get back on. Right then and there, not later when I’d plucked up enough courage to try and ride Socks again.

Although I didn’t know it then, neuroscience tells us that new memories remain unstable for a short period after an event. During this unstable period, memories are coded and consolidated…

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LaRae Quy
The Startup

Former counterintelligence FBI agent | Mental Toughness Center | Consultant | Speaker | Author: Secrets of A Strong Mind, & Mental Toughness for Women Leaders