If everyone quit where would we be?
My 54 year old uncle has 1/3 of his right lung and 2/3 of his other lung after smoking his whole life and developing lung cancer. He would wheeze just walking, and there was a question if he would live at all. When he went back to the hospital for a follow up the doctor said that he would live but he would have trouble breathing just walking up the stairs let alone jogging down the road like he always did. After that it was his goal to prove the doctor wrong. He started jogging again and at first he would go less than a quarter of a mile and then have to stop. He hired a personal trainer that he knew and started to work out. Every couple week he would increase his distance jogging until 1 year later it got to 5 miles. At this point he was in the shape of a 23 year old and could out run people who were in the best shapes of their life.
He inspired me to persevere and join the local Pop Warner Football League which was the worst in the division. Going into the year our head coach gave us a saying that would last the entire football season and will last the rest of my life. “Fight for every inch.” That year we weren’t built on talent, we were built on never giving up. It hadn’t been 4 years since a rookie started the Opening Day game and it was my goal to break the chain and win the role. After 2 months of grueling agonizing pain, I was put on the starting rotation and stayed there the rest of the season. We went from 0-8 one season to 7-3 the next season and winning the championship over our long time rival Brookfield in overtime.
Brookfield beat us every year and in a game earlier that year a fight broke out and the game had to end as it was. 27-0 Us. The rivalry got intense and on the last practice of the year our coach gave us a Brookfield jersey to rip up.
Perseverance doesn’t only occur in places where people expect it. Going into Super Bowl 42 the New York Giants were not expected or perceived to win it all in fact there was no chance at all. Until they stepped onto the field and gave every ounce the whole game and pulled the upset of the century.
I am the same person that I have always been but now I have the power to never give up. That is the greatest attribute that you, as a person, can have.
I believe that if everyone quit we would be at the end of another 0-8 season. We would be at the end of the Super Bowl with no fame, and no glory. If everyone quit we would be huffing and wheezing walking up the stairs to go to bed.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.