I don’t think anyone lives a perfect life. Some are more charmed than others, born into healthy homes with love and no financial hardships, but that still doesn’t make living on this earth easy. Even the rich and famous have their challenges and it seems to me that learning how to face these is the most important aspect of life.
Unlike many, I’ve never loved physical activity. I don’t naturally gravitate towards sports and exercise. Unlike my very kinesthetic husband, I suck at all games involving a ball, but I know we humans need to move to keep functioning. To this end, I exercise. Not out of love and inclination, but out of choice. I now have a beautiful elliptical that my husband and I found on Craigslist after doing some research. I can say with full honesty that it whips my butt.
I often have told my husband that he’ll one day find me deceased, slumped over the elliptical.
My point here is that every time I get off the danged thing, I feel victorious. I’ve found in life that it’s not the big moments that make the most difference, it’s hanging on for just one more minute. Yes, the big moments and big decisions count. Picking a career and picking a life partner are massively important, but once you’ve done these, life still doesn’t get easy. Part of moving ahead and finding the best path involves sheer determination. I learned this in lots of areas and none more so than grad school.
Life throws us curveballs and we have to learn to keep going, have to push ourselves ahead, believing we’ll work our way through the tough times. Think of the birth process–kids have to fight their way into this world and they need that determination from that point on.
Sometimes, it’s a matter of just going one step further(elliptical). Every good thing in my life has come through this process. Asking myself the question, “Maybe I can….” Whether it’s go a little further or last a little longer.
Sometimes, we have to make rough decisions and sometimes the hardest ones are when NOT to keep pushing ahead, like when to leave a relationship or job. When to give up on a friend. We face some rough situations and sometimes all we can do is take the possibility that maybe we can do what we know down deep we need to do.
We recently enjoyed The Olympics, watching truly historic, heroic choices. But life isn’t all about the big, splashy moments. Every one of those Olympic athletes dragged themselves out of bed on days when no crowds waited to cheer them on. They did the hard things to get themselves to the top.
Sometimes, we have to do the hard things to make the tough, smaller, personal choices that don’t feel small at all. Sometimes, being victorious means doing the right thing, even when it’s really, really hard.