A few weeks ago some of you might remember that I posted about starting a running program. Well, the most amazing thing is that I am now in the 7th week (8 if you count the week that I repeated week 3) of my program. It is amazing because this is the longest I have ever stuck with any sort of running program and on top of that during the winter! Winter to me signifies curling up, cuddling and hiding away from the cold and NOT doing unnecessary physical activity. Yet, here I am, religiously venturing out on a daily basis to adhere to my program.
I have to admit, it does not come easily. I have a constant argument with that mighty inner voice insisting that I am totally insane and must definitely give up on this ridiculous notion of running. After all, the engine is here to stay! I have come to realize that my battle is not against the other runners that so effortlessly jog past me, nor is it against the little aches and pains or the painful winter onslaught, no, it is against that VOICE inside my head! Nagging, nagging, nagging me to stop, to give up, trying to convince me that it is impossible, to face the fact that I am too old and simply not athletic at all. It is so tempting to listen to that voice, and I can hear the couch calling me. One would think that after & weeks that voice might have grown weaker, but it is as persistent as ever.
Fortunately I have a pact with my running partner. Yes, I have decided to employ the buddy system. In fact I have two running partners. One is my daughter, who is a 100 miles away, but everyday when I go out on the road I sms her and she encourages me. Sometimes it even happens that we are out on the road together even if it is in different towns. My second Buddy is a little fish, named Dory. Yes, you are right, now that she is not helping to find Nemo, she is my running partner. (Of course you now understand why my inner voice has declared me utterly mad!) Whenever I get tired and feel like giving up she is right there to remind me to "keep on swimming, keep on swimming, swimming, swimming". This little chant does wonders to drown out that irritating inner voice.
This decision of mine to start running has made me think about why some people do things against all odds and why others never venture anything and I have come to the conclusion that indeed it is all in the mind. It is in our thoughts where victory or failure starts. It is our thoughts that can doom a project before it has even started, but it is also our thoughts that can make a venture into a success story. It is in our minds where the greatest battles are lost and won.
Some years ago I read the story of a mountaineer who was paralyzed after a climbing accident. The doctors told him that he would never be able to walk again. A few years later however he was interviewed after climbing a major mountain range despite the doctors' prognosis. The reporter asked him how he managed to overcome such odds? His answer was simply this : "If you have a good enough excuse not to do something, then don't use that excuse."
How wise! Excuses gives us an out. It is like having a back door open all the time, ready to take flight, to leave and avoid the issue. The minute, however, when you close and lock that back door, or even better, build a wall in the door's place, we have no choice but to go forward and to face the challenge. Giving up is no longer a choice available to us and in that lies the secret. Never give up.
Giving up teaches us nothing. We never learn the strength of our abilities. We never reach our goals. We become expert give-uppers. We never get to stand on the summit and say "Wow, look at that view! Look how far I have come."
If giving up was an option to Columbus, America might still have been unknown. Africa and India might have been places just whispered about if it were not for Diaz and da Gama. Noah's ark would not have been more that a little kayak! If giving up was a choice we would never have heard of Nick Vujicic, who had every good excuse in the book to wallow in self-pity. Instead he still amazes and inspires the world with his faith in the Lord, infallible spirit and dogged determination. Watch this video to learn more about this incredible man .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USUvzKDroqM
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