Not Quitting

November 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

When I was in 3rd grade, we started having the Presidential Physical Fitness Test every year.

My most dreaded part of  all was the ‘600 Yard Dash’.

We had to run around the field about 3 times.

The first year I did this, I went out sprinting from the start.

It didn’t take me long to lose my breath.

I can still remember sucking in cold air and trying to breathe.

Before I even made it through the 2nd loop, I threw up and was pulled from the race.

Looking back on it, I should have paced myself instead of trying to start the race in a sprint.

However, I didn’t really have any knowledge of this at the time so I quickly determined that this was something I just couldn’t do.

I already was not a natural athlete.

In fact, I was the bookworm.

Given the choice between going outside and staying in, you could always find me inside curled up with a good book.

So this just further solidified in my mind that I was incapable of anything remotely athletic.

The next year I was so psychologically intimidated by the 600 Yard Dash that I started worrying about it several weeks in advance.

I was ready to throw up days before hand and sure enough I did before the whistle was barely blown.

This became a regular tradition with me every year.

The kids in my class would sit around making silent bets on NOT whether I would throw up but WHEN.

“Will she at least make it past the whistle blowing?”

I had some friends who were determined to help me beat this.

They would willingly abandon their own race times to run along beside me cheering me on but making sure to get out of the way before I threw up.

 Unfortunately, I was never successful and I never finished the race.

 In fact, just a few years ago I had someone from that school find me on Facebook and one of their first things to say was “Weren’t you that girl that used to throw up every year on the 600 yard dash!”

Yep that’s me!!

In high school, I decided I wanted to be on the crew team.  (Naturally a guy was involved)

Probably one of the only motivating factors that can make a completely unathletic teenager with a legacy for losing her lunch 6 years in a row on the 600 yard dash to enlist in one of the toughest sports out there.

As I recall, we had to run something like 12 miles a day.

It was probably 2 but in my mind it was 12.

In addition to this, we had to be there at 5 am or earlier to work out on machines and row on the water.

Then come back and do it all over again after school.

My family was so shocked that I not only chose to do this but lasted the entire season that they still talk about it to this day.

Now granted, I was in the worst boat that almost never competed but I still hung in there.

 I’ll never forget the ONE race we actually won.

 While I barely survived it, I still hold onto this experience as something I FINISHED and didn’t quit.

I had my surgery almost 5 months ago and I had to start exercising not only carrying several hundred pounds of excess weight but fighting the general belief that I can’t do it.

 On the one hand, I had my legacy of the girl that pukes every year at the 600 yard dash and can never finish.

On the other hand, my short stint on the crew team where I barely made it but never quit.  

 I started out walking from my hospital bed to the door and progressed to the hallway.

At home, I walked up and down my own hallway before progressing to the neighborhood.

5 months ago, walking from my mailbox to the mailbox next door was an unbelievable feat.

By adding one house every day, I made it around the block.

Then around the block twice.

Eventually I made it all the way to the kids school and back (about 1.5 miles).

Doing this was for me a major success but I really didn’t think I’d ever make it much further.  

When I told my brother how far I’d made it he said “Awesome! Now go further!“….

WHAT???

Somewhere inside me still resides the belief that I’m only one step away from throwing up.

That I’m not naturally athletic and therefore I won’t survive.

That I just can’t do it.

 “Know your limits” runs through my mind regularly when it comes to anything physical.

But with his extra support and motivation, I made it not only past the school but all the way down to the flag pole which waving in the wind seemed to be greeting me like someone approaching a finish line.

Of course it’s NOT the finish line because if there’s one thing I’ve learned with exercise, it’s that you’re never finished.

You’re always trying to improve in some way whether it’s distance, speed, balance or something else.

Upon arriving back home, I realized we had walked 2.5 miles!!

A complete extra mile than I was previously doing.

Later in that day we walked an additional mile at a fast pace throwing in little sprints here and there between mailboxes.

My mind kept screaming “You can’t do this!” but I did do it.

Not perfectly.

But I did it.

I have learned that the way to win—- is just not to quit.

Just don’t quit.  

You don’t have to come out of the gate sprinting.  And you can hate it the whole time.

You just can’t quit.

I started out walking 30 seconds at a time.

Literally—30 seconds.

And believe me those 30 seconds were miserable.

But I didn’t quit and the next day I added 30 more seconds.

5 months later I’m walking up to 3.5 miles in one day.

I’m not going to say I’m yet at a point where I enjoy the task but I do enjoy the pay offs.

 It’s amazing what NOT quitting can do for your life!

Philippians 3:14

The Message (MSG)

Focused on the Goal

 12-14I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joy May 5, 2012 at 5:21 am

What a great accomplishment!! Pretty soon you will be running 10km if you wanted 🙂
Joy recently posted..I see a difference!My Profile

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