Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope your week is shaping up to be an awesome one filled with successful runs, workouts, and all good things. It’s 51° here in NYC and if that isn’t reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.
I am inspired by recent events to highlight Perseverance as this week’s BTAT theme. No one worth anything got anywhere in life by trying once. In fact, some of the most successful people in the world were told “no”, “it’s not good enough”, “go away”, “you’ve failed”, and “quit now while you’re ahead” more than any of us have ever been told. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Helen Keller, Hillary Clinton…the list goes on and on of trailblazers who heard the word “NO” and kept on trying anyway.
Do you think Kara Goucher has never lost a race? Or Ryan Hall? We’ve seen them lose, fail, and quit mid-race in very public arenas. And then we see them at the next one, like the one last weekend in Houston that determined who is going to represent our country in the marathon at the London 2012 Olympics. Guess who made the team? Goucher and Hall.
It’s easy to give up, especially when you have a great reason. Only you’ll know if that great reason really is a reason for giving up or if it’s an excuse. You know what’s harder than giving up? Persevering is harder. It’s a gut-wrenching, pride-swallowing, frustrating thing to do but you owe it to yourself to try to Persevere. To go on when it’s impossibly hard. To fight back when you’ve been knocked down. To try again after such devastating disappointment. It’s hard. But you’re worth it.
Try. Fight. Work harder.
Did you have to DNF (Did Not Finish) a race? Do it again. Are you recently diagnosed with an illness? Work with it. Did you fail a test/semester/drop out? Go back. Did you get hurt training last time? Train smarter this time.
Because success might be within your grasp, only you won’t know until you try.
Because you owe it to yourself to put in your best effort every single time, not just the first time.
Because you’ll get better with practice.
Because there is help if you need it.
Because someone out there is looking up to you.
Because you’ve come too far and worked too hard to give up.
Because you can.
Because at the end of the day, don’t you want to say with confidence that you gave it your all? And for that matter, if you have the opportunity to try again and to Persevere, that is a gift in and of itself. The alternative is what? No second chance at your dream? At your race? At life? Not everyone gets the second chance to succeed that is standing in front of you. Come on. You can do it!
I am in awe of those around me who Persevere day after day. I see them and I am inspired. They encourage me to keep working hard, to keep trying. And when Perseverance gives way to success, I am only that much more inspired to keep at it. Thank you to all who show me the way. And that is what makes today Better Than the Alternative.
“Opportunities are disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them” -Ann Landers
Now go out and run!
Who/What makes today Better Than the Alternative for you today? Tell me about it. Oh, and in other news: I GOT IN! I am officially a doctoral candidate at NYU’s Steinhardt School for Physical Therapy beginning this summer. Woohoo!