The Power of Persistence

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill

Persistence may be the single most important tool that we can employ to our advantage in our fitness routine. For there is no perfect plan, and it’s highly unlikely that we won’t stumble along our journey, but if we pick ourselves back up and keep going we’ll keep making progress.

In the esteemed words of Winston Churchill, we need to keep going.

We need to keep going even on those days when we feel a bit sluggish.

We need to keep going even if the benefits of exercise are not apparent yet.

And we need to keep going when we hit life’s inevitable stumbling blocks.

I highly doubt that anyone’s health and fitness path in life is a straight path lined with nothing but success.

Most our lives will meander through hills and valleys, successes and failures, like a roller coaster. It’s the highs that take us through the lows and the power to keep going that makes our journey a success.

Look at your fitness routine like the Stock Market…it has ups and downs, but it keeps going up with a continuous improvement over the long-term.

That’s what we want: continual improvements over the long-term...even if we must weather a bumpy road of highs and lows.

Abraham Lincoln was best known for his persistence and not his failures. Despite a losing candidacy for president, his legacy is built on his triumphs not his failures. The perseverance of his dream to be President and his belief of human equality has forever shaped our nation and the modern world today.

Had Walt Disney stopped at his lesser known animation, Oswald the Rabbit, the world would have never come to know Mickey Mouse. And had he stopped when he was turned down numerous times for funding, the most popular theme parks in the world would not exist.

History is full of persistent people that have shaped our world, and while we only read about their successes, they have overcome many hurdles and failures that have defined their character and emboldened their drive to succeed.

We don’t have to be world leaders to harness the power of persistence…in fact, we can use it right now by just keeping at it in our fitness routine.

If we’ve fallen off the wagon or taken a few days off from eating right or exercising, this is a critical juncture where we can really benefit from jumping back on our feet and trying again.

This is not a failure that we should hang our head over, but rather a triumph of our spirit. It’s these moments of persistence that will define our character, inspire others, and give us a foundation of confidence to keep going in the future.

Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. Most of us continue to redefine success as we progress towards our goals. And we’re usually much tougher on ourselves than we are on others.

Take a look back and see how you’ve gotten where you are today – chances are you’ll see a path of persistence, perseverance and progress. It doesn’t matter in the long-run if we have to take a step backward for every 2 steps that we take forward…it’s much better to keep going than it is to give up. 

Make the commitment to take a small step forward today…do a set of crunches…go for a walk…every step counts!

A little persistence can go a long way. In the movie Forest Gump, Forest runs from Alabama to Maine and says to himself, “I got this far…I might as well keep going”.

Success is nothing more than a series of steps and the will to keep going.

Find the mantra that works best for you…”keep going”…”tomorrow’s a new day”…. And even if you skipped some workouts along the way, pack your clothes for tomorrow mornings walk or run.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been knocked down…it matters if you get back up again!

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