I’ve had Astronaut Scott Kelly’s book ‘Endurance’ propped on the shelf above my desk since the moment I finished reading it in 2017. I’ve had page 8 bookmarked since then too, with this line about his childhood that has always resonated with me: “If you were doing something safe, something you already knew could be done, you were wasting time.”
As the stress of the last month or two hung heavy over me yesterday, I began to think again about endurance.
Endurance is about persevering through the challenging moments in life. What feels heavy today may not feel heavy with the renewed perspective of tomorrow.
Two weeks ago I was in tears, convinced that my days of running were over due to pain in my hip. After a couple of days of self-loathing, I could have made the decision to cancel my insured Boston Marathon entry and continued feeling sorry for myself. Instead, I remembered the important lessons about endurance that make marathon running so captivating to me: what makes us strong is embracing difficulty and keeping commitments especially when they are hard. So instead of accepting surrender, I refocused my energy from running (which was a really hard thing to do as I approached peak training week for Boston), to all of the things I knew would help my body recover. Some days it was really hard to stay positive, but I kept my commitment to listen to what my body was telling me and it paid off dividends.
Sometimes we stray from the path we have embarked on. We might get so turned around it feels like we’ll never find our way back to the path. This is when we need to remember the importance of endurance. We must keep going, even if we feel we are barely creeping forward. NASA says it best, small steps lead to giant leaps.
When things get tough, remember that endurance is required in all aspects of life…sometimes it’s a marathon, not a sprint.