This I Believe

Jonathan - Needham, Massachusetts
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe: “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever”

As I think back to the time that I spent this past summer in Israel, nothing kept me going during the long hikes in the Negev Desert as well as the idea that “pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever.” There are so many situations in life where it would be much easier to give up, or not to try, such as when faced with a large workload, a difficult upcoming task, or when dealing with pain. In my life, I have experienced many things that would have been a lot easier on me had I decided not to attempt the task, or give up in the middle.

The day is Wednesday July 19th, 2007; the time is 4:00PM. I’ve been hiking since 6 in the morning in the middle of the Negev Desert in Israel, on this (optional) fourth and final day in the desert. I’ve already consumed 8 liters of water, and I can feel the sweat dripping off of my face and being absorbed by my already drenched shirt. The sun, still directly ahead of me has never felt stronger against my skin ever before. As I take a gulp of water, I look ahead of the group to see what we have laying in front of us. After having hiked 8 hours already, the last thing I wanted to see was another seemingly steep, long incline.

Much to my dissatisfaction, within minutes we have reached the beginning of this next treacherous climb. I can feel my legs burning, screaming for me to give up and wait for the Jeep to come pick me up. Every muscle in my body is telling me to stop. I ignore this plea, and remember back to a time when I was biking with my dad. We were approaching a steep climb and he yells out “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever!” and takes off in front of me. While approaching this next climb, I think of these words of Lance Armstrong, and realize that even though it seems like the pain is unbearable, it will not last forever. With every step I take for the next hour, I remind myself that the blisters on my feet will go away, the excruciating pain in my thighs will soon be gone, and the temperature will not remain at 110? forever, and I power through the next two hours of hiking, thoroughly enjoying every minute of it, all while I’m in the most pain I’ve ever experienced.

While pain may be unbearable at a certain time, almost all pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever. This, I believe.