Tag Archives: perserverance

Run the Race

Hadn’t my grandparents always said, “nothing worthwhile comes easy”?

At the track and field events, I earned each of my awards and ribbons. I’d raced along, my eyes on the mark. Momentum building as my arms pumped with energy and my long legs pounded the grassy field. The warmth from the sun’s rays kissed my face, and the breeze caressed my long, flowing hair. My mind, clear and free from worries, centered my concentration one goal: crossing the finish line.

We took our places and lined up in a row, waiting for Coach’s command.

“ON YOUR MARK . . .”

Nerves hit the pit of my stomach.

“GET SET . . .”

I willed my mind to focus, my eyes fixed straight ahead.

“GO!”

We were off. My foot slipped; two of us bumped. I regained momentum, pumping my arms, elbows high. I needed to pace myself or I’d run out of wind. I decided to hold steady at a comfortable third place. I knew that if I stretched myself, I’d pick up speed and pass them one by one. Needed to time it just right.

Breathe. Keep your eyes on the back of their heads.

Don’t get in too much of a hurry.

Steady . . . Steady . . .

Not yet. Not yet.

Almost . . .

Now!

I passed one girl. Then another. A burst of energy flooded me as I gained a second wind. I closed in on the leader. I heard her breathing. The sound of our feet pounded the ground in unison, inches apart. It was now or never.

We came onto the turn, I moved to the right. Willing my legs to move faster, I passed her up, taking the lead. In record time, I beat her to the finish line!

That was me a hundred years ago. Strong. Perky. Ageless.

If I did it then — perhaps, just maybe — I can do it again, in whatever I set out my mind to do.

(excerpt from Running in Heels – A Memoir of Grit and Grace)
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© M.A. Perez, 2017, All Rights Reserved

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Like the Wind

Hadn’t my grandparents always said, “nothing worthwhile comes easy”?

At the track and field events, I earned each of my awards and ribbons. I’d raced along, my eyes on the mark. Momentum building as my arms pumped with energy and my long legs pounded the grassy field. The warmth from the sun’s rays kissed my face, and the breeze caressed my long, flowing hair. My mind, clear and free from worries, centered my concentration one goal: crossing the finish line.

We took our places and lined up in a row, waiting for Coach’s command.

“ON YOUR MARK . . .”

Nerves hit the pit of my stomach.

“GET SET . . .”

I willed my mind to focus, my eyes fixed straight ahead.

“GO!”

We were off. My foot slipped; two of us bumped. I regained momentum, pumping my arms, elbows high. I needed to pace myself or I’d run out of wind. I decided to hold steady at a comfortable third place. I knew that if I stretched myself, I’d pick up speed and pass them one by one. Needed to time it just right.

Image source: thinkstock by Getty Images

Breathe. Keep your eyes on the back of their heads.

Don’t get in too much of a hurry.

Steady . . . Steady . . .

Not yet. Not yet.

Almost . . .

Now!

I passed one girl. Then another. A burst of energy flooded me as I gained a second wind. I closed in on the leader. I heard her breathing. The sound of our feet pounded the ground in unison, inches apart. It was now or never.

We came onto the turn, I moved to the right. Willing my legs to move faster, I passed her up, taking the lead. In record time, I beat her to the finish line!

That was me a hundred years ago. Strong. Perky. Ageless.

If I did it then — perhaps, just maybe — I can do it again, in whatever I set out my mind to do.

How about YOU?

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Filed under Perserverance, Race

STICK-TO-ITIVENESS

I sat by a friend and glanced at her phone which had a word for the day. The word was “persistence.” I like to link it to the phrase, stick-to-itiveness.

I am well acquainted with persistence. Synonym: tenacity, grit, endurance, unflagging. Even so, this doesn’t mean that I find persistence an easy feat. It takes work, and you sometimes have to be like a dog with a bone.

Then I watched an oldie-but-goodie 1962 movie, The Miracle Worker about Helen Keller. I’d seen this movie many years ago before, but I don’t remember it having such a great impact on me like it did this time. We know the story of Helen Keller and all her accomplishments in overcoming great adversity in being deaf, blind, and mute thanks to Anne Sullivan, her wonderful teacher. But Anne Sullivan faced many challenges at a young age as well.

Anne suffered with health problems of her own, growing up in an impoverished home. At a young age her sight was severely damaged from an eye disease, and at the age of eight her mother died. She became a ward of the state, underwent many botched surgeries before her vision was partial restored. Anne eventually graduated at a school for the blind. As she sought employment, she obviously became the perfect teacher to Helen Keller.

She never faltered in her belief in Helen, believing “the chick has to come out of its shell sometime.” Anne’s way was to teach while disciplining, because “obedience without understanding is blindness, too.”

Anne’s persistence and determination taught a seven-year-old deaf, blind and mute child to blossom and to communicate with the world. Later on in life, she helped Helen to write her biography.

What remarkable wit of the teacher and the student. What if Anne had given up? So many obstacles to overcome, the endless challenges to not throw in the towel. Anne saw Helen’s parents as spoiling her negative behaviors with rewards to pacify her, which was doing more harm than good. Wouldn’t it have been easier for Anne not to have cared? Give up? Leave? Instead, Anne’s persistence brought help to the helpless, light into darkness, and knowledge to ignorance. Against all odds they both changed history. They overcame defeat and did not quit.

That’s the kind of person I want to be. How about you?

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© M.A. Pérez 2015, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under persistence