Monday, July 4, 2011

Don't Quit

I often find myself sitting in church, listening to the message and thinking,"I have got to teach these lessons to Miles and Vivienne."  A couple weeks ago, our pastor was talking about having perseverance through hardship.  These days, we often equate "hard" and "difficult" with "impossible."

Miles and Vivienne, life is going to throw things at you that are really hard.  Really, really hard.  I certainly want to acknowledge that you will go through things that will feel enormously difficult.  These challenges will likely take many different forms - school, jobs, friendships, marriages, illnesses, deaths.

I just want to tell you how important it is to not quit.  Just don't quit.  Remember that you can do things that may feel impossible at times.  And when you come out on the other side of these experiences, you will probably look back and view them as the most fulfilling and rewarding things that you have ever done.

Your daddy really embodies this in my mind.  Before you were born, he did innumerable races - half marathons, marathons, triathlons of various lengths.  He did 4 Ironman triathlons.  Most people could only dream of accomplishing something like that, but your daddy lives for that type of challenge.  He would spend months and months training for his races - training for a couple hours either before or after work every single day and then usually training for 3-4 hours every Saturday.   He would eat and drink specific foods that he knows make good fuel for his body.  I imagine that when Daddy is racing in these triathlons, his body probably says "just quit" or "just walk" or "just stop and drink some water" over and over and over.  He pushes past all of that and does things with his body that most of us could never imagine.  Daddy doesn't just finish the race, but he finishes it well.  I am so proud of him.

Find things in your lives that are difficult.  Find things that challenge you.  Take classes that you know will be hard.  Go to schools that you know will push your limits.  Find your own Ironmans - whether they be marathons, marriages, friendships, loving people who are hard to love sometimes, taking on jobs or experiences who will stretch you as a person, or forgiving someone for something you've been holding onto.

Remember that "difficult" is not "impossible."

Don't take the easy road.   The hard road has a much better view when you look back from the finish line.

And remember that Daddy and I will always be cheering you on, no matter what happens.

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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