Don’t You Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,When the funds are low and the debts are high,And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,When care is pressing you down a bit-Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns,And many a fellow turns aboutWhen he might have won had he stuck it out.Don’t give up though the pace seems slow -You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering man;Often the struggler has given upWhe he might have captured the victor’s cup;And he learned too late when the night came down,How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,And you never can tell how close you are,It might be near when it seems afar;So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit -It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

 

I’ve tried to find the author of this poem but it appears to be thoroughly anonymous.  Thankfully, it doesn’t need a name attached to it in order to speak volumes.

Three days away from being cleared to run… after 8 weeks of patiently waiting for my heel to heal… after 8 weeks of diligently attending session after session of physical therapy… after 8 WEEKS of cycling and swimming and using the ELLIPTICAL instead of running… I break a toe by stubbing it on my girlfriend’s heel while we’re walking to get some dinner!  Seriously.  Somehow my toe got caught in her sandal strap and the rest is history.  And no, I hadn’t been drinking… yet.  I promise I had a stiff one when we got to the restaurant, though!  Go ahead; laugh.  I did, though not right away. 🙂  When I woke up the next morning, my toe was swollen and my entire foot was turning purple.  Lovely.  I knew it couldn’t be good and I had a sneaking suspicion that my toe was broken but I iced and elevated and hoped for the best.  After seeing my swollen, purple foot pictured on Facebook, Dr. Sam Wittenburg urged me to meet him at the Urgent Care side of his Sentara practice on a Sunday (the break happened on Friday – talk about a doctor going above and beyond!) and get some x-rays.  He met me Sunday morning and express-laned me through the x-ray process.  He confirmed that it was broken and told me that it would be another 4-6 weeks before I could run.  :-I

Those who know me are probably feeling sorry for my fiancé and my coach right now, thinking that I had a terribly volatile reaction to this news.  Yes, past behavior is generally the best predictor of future behavior… but this was a break-through (pun intended) experience for me!  I kept a smile on my face the whole day!  I don’t think I even complained at first, other than about the pain. (Seriously, you would not believe how badly something so SMALL can hurt!) If you don’t believe me, you can Dai and Justin to verify.  I can’t say that I was excited to hear the news.  There was a brief wave of disappointment… BUT the experience demonstrated just how far I’ve come in building up my mental toughness!  Any athlete can carry a positive attitude when she’s healthy and performing well… but I managed to stay optimistic despite a set-back!  In fact, my first reaction was to tell Dai that he would need to step up my biking and swimming because those legs of my 70.3 are going to have to be stronger to make up for the added delay in my return to running!  “Okay,” I thought, “I just have to seriously kick @ss on the swim and bike.  We can make that happen!”  At the end of the day, I felt like a champion.

I continue on my journey toward the half-ironman (and, sometime soon, I will Journey to the Center of the Cookie, as well) with ambitious but attainable goals.  I had my first ride with Dai this morning in over a month and he did some “data gathering” as he likes to call it.  This is code for “I’m going to measure exactly how much I can make you hurt before you crack.”  He said he was quite impressed with my performance on the ride; you don’t get to hear that everyday so I’m documenting it! I got up to 28 mph at one point and, though I only held that briefly, it was pretty exciting! Not too shabby for a gal that’s only been riding for a few months!  Hard work, combined with my increased mental toughness, should yield some great results and I’m looking forward to what the future will bring!  Remember; “rest if you must, but don’t you quit!”

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