Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Developing Endurance

“I don’t think I am going to make it.”

“I can’t do this anymore, I’m sorry.”

When we hear these words, we try to give encouragement to the person saying them. We want them to hold on as long as possible, to keep going until the very end, not giving up or giving in. We want them to develop the endurance needed to stick it out.

What is endurance? How do we develop it? Why is it so important?

We often associate endurance with the athlete that runs long distances. It requires muscle strength, lung capacity, high quality running shoes, and a great deal of determination. Distance runners know that there is a cycle they go through and they pace themselves to save their final burst of energy for the last seconds of the race.

Outside of the athletic world, we speak of endurance when we speak of loved ones who are getting close to the end of their lives. We want them to live as long as possible, and we encourage them to “hang on” until they have accomplished their life’s work and are called home.

Endurance is not just for runners and the elderly. We all want and need this quality to help us in our lives. We need endurance when we are having a tough day, when the money runs out before the end of the month, and when we experience setbacks in our education, employment, and most importantly, in our families.

Family life can be fraught with difficulty. We frequently must set aside our own agendas and work for the good of others that are depending on us for their sustenance. As we do so, we choose a higher purpose and develop our endurance. We exercise patience, determination, and dedication as we work together.

Choosing to endure to the end is choosing to make the most of our lives, no matter how long it may appear that we have left to live. It is staying with our loved ones even when they may not be making the choices that bring us peace and happiness. It is keeping the lights on when the night is at its darkest.

Endurance is the ability to keep on doing what we know is right, even when it appears that we are not receiving any benefits from doing so. It is giving our best effort in the face of opposition, and keeping a positive attitude when others are looking for reasons to complain.

Endurance is realizing that the race does not necessarily go to the swift and the strong, but to the person who keeps on going until the final whistle blows. It is the ability to keep on going, no matter what happens. Enduring is choosing the good over and over again, until the good chooses us!

©2014 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.

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