I believe that no one is done when they are defeated; they are done when they quit. I have learned this with many personal experiences and noticing it through others. As a big fan of the Denver Broncos, they set an example to me. In 1986, John Elway, Hall of Fame quarterback from the Denver Broncos, led his team ninety eight yards against the Cleveland Browns to score and tie the game when the team started their drive from their own two yard line. The Broncos won that game even though they were pinned against their backs with the score against them, and defeat was expected. John Elway and his team rallied together and decided they were not going to quit. The fact that there was enough time left on the clock that meant that the team still had a chance and they certainly took advantage of that to remain alive. In John Elway’s rich career, he had 49 fourth quarter comebacks. He lived his life without quitting.
It is that type of mentality that is important in life. Things may be going against you, but what will you do? Will you accept defeat and surrender or fight to remain standing? It happened to me when we were preparing for the Army ROTC Ranger Challenge competition. We trained vigorously every weekday from six to eight in the morning to prepare ourselves to compete in military events against other Universities that would attend the competition. The teams were organized for the event and I ended up being placed on the Alpha team reserve; in other words, I would not participate; I would only be someone to fill in if an injury occurred and replacement was needed. Being an Alpha team reserve, the coach could have put me on the Bravo team to help them succeed instead of sit the whole way through the competition after all of this training. Friends told me to join Bravo team. I stood against that, I wouldn’t accept defeat and quit. I understood my role was to be a replacement in case someone were to be injured. The team had to have the all members prepared if they wanted to win and I was going to be there if they needed me. While training, two members of Alpha team were injured and I got closer to being a permanent piece of the team. A week before the competition, I was officially on the Alpha team roster. All of the waiting and continuous training was worth it, I got what I want while being prepared and never quitting in order to be active on another team. Alpha team took fifth place out of the competition behind Central State University, Ohio State University, Xavier, and another University.
By not quitting and remaining with the team, it assisted them when they needed it. The effect of not quitting is that I am motivated for next year to be better and train harder. It is not up to anyone else when I am done, it is up to me when I want to call it quits and I do not believe that will be anytime soon.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.