(Perseverance) definition: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.
There will be days where I don’t want to push anymore. Days where I’m tired, and can’t feel my legs. My muscles ache, my heart is about to explode out of my chest, and my mind tells me I’m just no good at this. I shove my gear inside my bag like I want to stuff it inside a garbage can. I drive away from practice, replaying every minute I didn’t do something good, which to me was 95% of the time. I’m filled with anger at myself, disappointment that my body can’t move like I want it to move yet. For twenty minutes on the ride home, and then the entire following night, I just beat myself up.
In those moments of doubt, and self-sabotage, I forget I showed up to practice, I geared up and gave it my all. I fought all I could, even if I didn’t do things perfectly. I listened, and implemented the advice the best I could. I focused on my bad habits, and corrected them. I went out there, I sweated and stayed the full two hours.
I’m not paid to do this. I’m not asked to get bruised, to sprain ligaments, or strain muscles. No one is holding a gun to my head forcing me to skate. I show up voluntarily because I love it. Loving it doesn’t mean every practice will be great. Just like a relationship, I’m going to have my “fuck it” moments, but I don’t leave. I let go of the anger, and I keep showing up.
Success is mostly perseverance. Hard work being done in and out of the track, on a consistent basis, whether I’m tired or not. Whether I’m in the mood or not. Whether I feel like I’m going to fly, or land on my ass the entire time. I keep pushing, because I know someday it’s going to click. Something is finally going to make sense, and all my sweat, tears, and cries of frustration will remind me of how much I wanted this, and how much I fought for this, by day and night.
The light shines on those who have been training in the dark for years. The road to success is paved with challenges. What I want to make of those challenges will define my journey. I can’t look at mistakes like failures. I can’t stop pushing when I’m only one step away from breaking through a plateau. I can’t tell myself this is it, because I’m worth so much more than that. Every step forward makes me a better skater.
Persevere through heartaches, life struggles, and personal bottoms. Persevere and leave it all on the track, where no one judges you. Persevere and strive to improve your game. Persevere and thrive. Persevere and win. If you fall, get back up. This is your time.
It doesn’t matter whether it takes hundreds or thousands of tries, I will make it happen, because deep down I know I can do it.
So can you.