I created another Fitspiration picture on Friday. I used a quote from Walter Elliot* as inspiration: “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.”
I think that as a virtue, perseverance has an un-glorious air to it. I certainly didn’t appreciate perseverance when I was younger: I was the uncool student who had to work hard for her success. Then there were the cool students who (presumably) didn’t study at all and still got straight A’s.
I think Walter Elliot nailed the essence of persistence when he says it’s not one long race but “many short races one after another”. It means you have to show up every day and do what you need to do. There’s also an advantage to thinking of perseverance this way: it makes reaching a big goal much easier because you can focus on each short race in turn.
My quest for health and fitness is a good example of persistence. Four years ago I decided I can’t take my chronic tension headaches anymore and decided to do whatever it takes to get rid of them. And I did. It took lots of work and lots of experimentation to figure out what works for me.
It also required admitting I’m the only person who can really help me. I am the one who has to do the work. I’m the only one who is responsible for my well-being. In a way, it would’ve been easier to resign to a life of chronic pain, but I’m glad I didn’t.
Being persistent doesn’t mean I don’t ever despair or even “give up” for a while. It means I always pick myself up and get going again. If one way doesn’t work, I find another one.
I found another cool word for perseverance: stick-to-itiveness. I love it! 🙂
*Does anyone know who Walter Elliot is?
Now it’s your turn! When has persistence paid off in your life? Have you ever had “easy victories”?