Two years ago, right after my first year in graduate school, I finally elected to have the two knee surgeries (one on each leg) that I had been needing for several years. The pain was waking me up at night, and especially in the Missouri cold, even walking was often a chore, to say nothing of lifting, running, and coaching. I took this photo merely two days out of surgery, and I remember being so exhilarated about being able to (carefully) work on one-legged squats so soon. This photo reminds me that I am a hard worker, I am tough, I am resilient in the face of hardship, and I have what it takes to overcome what can seem like impossible odds. I have survived what started out to be a pretty rotten year, and I am so excited to discover what is left to come. <3
Sometimes, I catch myself falling into the faulty thinking that when we find the things we are “meant” to do (who knows what that really means, anyway?), they come easily. When we find the person we’re “supposed” to be with, the dream job, our “purpose,” etc…we should just “know,” according to all the popular wisdom out there. That’s an easy mistake to make, given that we as a culture prize finishing things fastest and with seemingly no internal struggle.
Though many things for which we have an affinity will come more easily than for the general population, certainly the belief that it will always feel natural–or even possible–can be a recipe for quitting, disappointment, poor self-esteem, and many missed opportunities. With that thought in mind, I use the above quote to urge you (along with myself) this week: whatever you find difficult, do it more often. Give it one more good go…and then always be willing to give it another. If nothing else, if and when you feel defeated at the end of the day, go to bed that night and promise yourself, “I will try again tomorrow.” I choose to believe that that persistence will be rewarded, both in my own life and in yours.