Strongest of Heart
I believe that your will-power is the strongest thing you have. Will-power can get you through situations that your muscles and brain can’t. If you are so determined to get through a situation, you will end up getting through it.
Last year, I had the hardest basketball practice of my life. My freshman coach was in the Navy Reserve, so he conditioned us hard. We had lost a game the day before, badly, and he was really mad. He had us do something called Boot Camp. I ran around the gym the whole practice! He didn’t give our team a break. Our water break was wall-sits when we got a little water to keep us standing.
Coach told us to run a mile around the gym in five minutes. That was the first sign that the practice would not be easy. He then made me do quarter quarts, which is a tough running drill if you do them repeatedly. We kept on running for two hours until eight-o-clock when practice was over.
After I had been running for an hour and a half, my muscles were burning and I really thought that my body would give out. I had to dig deep inside myself to keep on going. My coach had told us we could quit, but if we did we would be cut from the team. That was the only incentive I needed to keep going. Everyone on my team had to use a lot of will power to keep on running and not quit. When my muscles quit performing and my body wanted to just stop, I had to tell myself to start running again. Drop my butt and get into a stance.
It’s funny how hearing your own strained breathing and the thud of footsteps puts you into a sort of trance. It was like a rhythm for me to fall into. It made it easier so I didn’t have to think about the pain and struggle I was enduring. You start focusing on the littlest things to keep yourself going.
At the end of this experience I believe that everyone became stronger because of it. Being able to just push through pain is a great attribute to have because you don’t give up just because something is hard. Everyone can get through many different experiences using just willpower.
I am currently reading a book called Ghost Soldiers. It is about our American troupes in POW camps in Japan in World War Two. And all they had was their will-power to depend on. They were starving, disease infested men, but many of them had the will to survive. And a lot of them made it through those horrific events because they were determined to live and not just be another name on the death count. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” That’s how I like to live my life in difficult situations.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.