Perseverance takes you places. Literally.
This week, perseverance took me through four states, twice; and then to the finish line of a 5KM run. And all this, after getting only three hours of sleep the night before.
In Rethinking our Negative Views of Detours, I explained how Michael and I turned a 13-hour drive to Illinois into a fun-filled road-trip. Rather than merely pass through one town and state after the other, we actually explored a little and checked out local attractions.
We took the same approach on the trip back to Atlanta. This brought us to a jail museum in southern Illinois, and a local sushi buffet in Tennessee. Thus, we learned a lot about American history, and feasted like royalty.
But about an hour after leaving Nashville, we encountered heavy traffic. Because of this, we didn’t get home until Saturday morning.
This would have been little more than a minor inconvenience, had it not been for the fact that we had a race a few hours later at 9AM.
Secretly we both entertained doubts about being able to make it to the event, and considered dropping out of the run. But neither of us wanted to disappoint the other. So after a three hour nap, we left for our 5KM run with high hopes and low energy.
We were exhausted – me especially. In the week and a half prior, I had slept for only three of those nights, and was already suffering from the terrible effects of sleep deprivation. Any more and I was sure to crash and burn.
Things only got worse when we arrived at the venue. I had slept so little that my eyes had swollen up, as though I was suffering from an allergic reaction. In spite of this exhaustion, we then had to stand in line for 45 minutes to collect our packages.
The line took it’s time in moving, and needless to say, the race started without us. At that point, people started to drop out of the registration line and many considered just going home.
Luckily, however, they released the runners in various waves, every ten minutes or so. The volunteers on staff were also very helpful, and even threw in a free shirt when they overheard me complaining to Michael that I wished I had ordered one with our package.
We caught the very last wave, and through perseverance and a strong commitment to finishing, we made it through Color Run 2016.
I was a little disappointed in myself for being too exhausted to actually run the whole thing, but was grateful Michael stayed behind with me to make sure I was okay; and that we actually crossed the finish line together.
When our family and friends checked in to see if we had made it back from Illinois in one piece, they were surprised to hear that we had just completed the Color Run. They questioned our wisdom in doing such a thing; and marvelled at how we had driven for 17 hours, slept for 3 hours, and then ran 5KM (roughly 3.1 miles) in 30 minutes.
The answer to all that is simple.
We managed to make it through because of perseverance. Of course, we missed out on some of the fun by losing sleep, but we’re grateful we made the extra effort to attend.
Participating in the run reminded us of our capabilities as individual human beings, and as a team. After all, nothing boosts your faith in your abilities more than achieving the seemingly impossible.
And that, we did.
In reward for giving it our all, we gained a memorable experience (plus a free T-shirt and shades!). We also learned that working together can help us beat the odds, no matter how highly they are stacked against us.
Why? Because it’s a great reminder that when you’re in a jam, not only can you rely on yourself, but you can rely on your partner as well. Almost nothing gives you better peace of mind than knowing that.
So when life throws you mountains for obstacles, persevere – even if it means persevering alone. Otherwise, you might miss out on amazing opportunities for learning and growth, as well as the chance to make memories you’ll want to hold on to for the rest of your life.
It’s time we stop making silly excuses when it comes to achieving major goals in life, because you never know what you’re truly capable of until you’re faced with the impossible.
Check out the pictures from the Color Run, below.