Posted by: pdfflyers | October 21, 2009

Why Keep Going?

My friend and elite triathlete, Jan, and I just finished the Solvang Fall Double century. Every one of these is a unique experience and this one was no different. As we began with all the other riders in a scratch start, they took off, and we took the easier pace of warming up. We found ourselves at the very back of 120+ riders. At the first check point we were only ahead of 6 riders. As the day progressed, there was beautiful scenery, a missed turn (thanks to the race director for putting us back on course quickly), long steep climbs, heat, a great lunch, an insane climb, a gravel road, cool breezes, a new friend, and my complication of this ride; saddle sore.

Not to go into the details, but needless to say, getting saddle sore is very uncomfortable. This set in on me at about the 130 mile mark and there were still 70 miles to go. When ever I encounter difficulties on these rides, I do think about quitting. But the ever present idea of receiving a DNF (did not finish) in the results doesn’t fit in my realm. On this ride, I was attentive to the questions that ran through my mind. “What was I thinking?”, “I am not going to do anymore of these!” “How can I stop; I have come so far”, “All the training I do is for this, I can’t stop.”, “Jan came to ride this with me.”, “I have invested alot of time and money.”, “Maybe this discomfort will go away.”, “It can’t feel any worse than it already does.”

As we entered the last 10 miles, I could sense the finish, and the discomfort had now become irrelevant. It was awesome once again to complete another double century and experience the depth of personal perseverance. Thanks so much to Jan and my new friend Todd, for pulling me through. We ended up finishing in the top 50.

I wonder as we go through life and difficult times come, (and they do come) why some people quit and others continue. Richard Nixon in the darkest moment of his career and life said, “Defeat doesn’t finish a man, quit does.” We live in a time when many people are just giving up on life because it is getting difficult, uncomfortable, or defeat is looming on the horizon. We have been sold a bill of goods in our culture that life is meant to be easy, comfortable, and filled only with victories. We seek after that and our world celebrates it. Thus in our careers, relationships, and life pursuits we measure the win or loss based on wrong perceptions.

What if we reflected on how far we’ve come, how much we have invested, how much we have learned and still have to learn, and how every apparent defeat has stretched us further than we ever imagined? Maybe we might gain strength to continue and rise above the whole concept of “quit.”

May you continue in your life knowing  that the real victory is to be had in the experience of “growth thru perseverance.”

“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.James 1:4



  1. You guys are amazing. Way to stick it out and work hard!

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