“Never give in.  Never.  Never.  Never.  In nothing great or small, large or petty.  Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.  Never yield to force.  Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill

Sometimes I think I’m pretty good at the whole not giving up thing.  I was the kid in high school who didn’t have much finesse or natural ability.  I was the scrappy sports player, and I was only good because I was strong and had endurance.  Why was I strong and why did I have endurance?  Because I was the kid who chose to wake up before school to go to the gym to work out by myself.  I was also the kid who ran with ankle weights at night in the Midwestern winter by myself.  I was the one who went the extra mile and was able to make up for a lack of talent with raw determination.

But then I think of military personnel like John.  John broke his tail bone when landing a short parachute jump and then hiked for thirty miles to his destination in his full eighty-pound gear.  John messed up his knee, it swelled up to the size of a grapefruit, and then he ran fourteen miles in order to achieve his goal.  He says he remembers every step of that fourteen-mile run.  So when I think something’s hard for me, it helps to remember people like John and Churchill.

But then, we often think of those people who pushed through insurmountable odds to achieve their goal as lucky.  They’re the lucky ones with the iron wills.  We never sit back to think about how hard they had to work to forge those iron wills.  We forget about their past pain and degrade their current triumph to the luck of the draw.

I can’t think of anything more insulting.  Luck typically has very little to do with success.  Success comes to those who decide that a broken tail bone isn’t an issue that will stop them from carrying eighty pounds for thirty miles.  There comes a point for all of us where we have to realize that our current obstacles are surmountable as long as we are willing to pay the price to get to the final destination we’re pursuing.  We are almost always capable of trying harder than we currently are.

For me, this means that I need to stop whining about how tough my goals are and get to work.  Although everything I want to do in the fitness field will be hard, it’s all achievable… with enough elbow grease.

For you, hopefully this is a reminder that committed persistence is required for the achievement of great things.  The list of “great things” includes being fit and healthy.  It’s something to think about when the alarm goes off and all you want to do is cling to your pillow.

“No man is ever whipped, until he quits — in his own mind” – Napoleon Hill