Life is Like Running Hurdles: Sometimes You Have to go Over Lots of…Hurdles

Joshua - Lander, Wyoming
Entered on May 22, 2008

I believe in hurdles. Life destroys our knees, pulls our hamstrings, and jolts our spines. Despite these pains, we still finish the race.

I believe in overcoming the adversities that are thrown in our path, not by limping over them, but rather, by facing them at full throttle, speeding to the end. Additionally, if one falls then he must get back up immediately, even if he loses.

I am an athlete. The most exciting part of my athletic career has been the 110-hurdle race. The hurdles are high, and there are only a few strides between each of them. In my sophomore year of high school, in my first race of the season, I started out great, but on the third hurdle, my knee decided to nail the hurdle. I fell and landed on my shoulder. I recovered instantly and attempted to conquer the next hurdle…due to lack of speed, I fell again, and my knee, elbow, and wrist were all torn up and bleeding. In my experience, it is rare for a hurdler to fall once in a race. I fell twice! Still, I finished the race; that experience taught me how to recover when I am beaten down.

Even though life’s obstacles beat us down, I believe we must persevere to the end. If I were to have fallen ten times in my race, I would have expected myself to have gotten up every time until I had finished what I’d begun.

My big recovery was not as intense as some have faced. In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Tanzanian marathon runner John Stephen Ahkwari finished over an hour after everyone else. His leg was covered in blood and bandaged due to a terrible injury that occurred. When asked why he kept going, he replied, “You don’t understand. My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start a race, they sent me to finish it.”

This notion of finishing, inspires me to never let obstacles hinder my goals. An anonymous philosopher once said, “The best way out of a difficulty is through it.” If we continue to practice and gain experience, the hurdles will be easier to clear.

Complete what we set out to finish; don’t let hurdles keep us down. Don’t frolic through the race; go at full speed. Don’t worry about falling down; it is always possible to get back up.

I intend to be like the Tanzanian and toughen up, look adversity in the eyes, and finish what I started.