Why Bother To Build Stamina?
Whether competing in an athletic event, beginning and finishing a project, sticking with a commitment to a relationship or maintaining long-term goals for personal improvement, we need staying power. Quitters never finish. Instead, they become envious bystanders wishing for the inner strength they see in others and at the same time, lack in themselves.
Stamina is Built, Not Inherited
Anyone can build stamina and you don’t have to join a gym to do it. Stamina, whether mental or physical, is constructed bit by bit over the course of our lifetime. No one is born with heartiness. Nor is it instantaneous. Instead, we develop a fortitude for life as we set big and little goals and then move in steady motion toward them. Every time we encounter an unexpected obstacle and refuse to quit, we build more resistance to setbacks. The inevitable bumps, temporary inconveniences, and stressors that strain our endurance actually become the needed training that strengthens our courage.
During my years as a triathlon participant, I kept a rigorous training regiment—running, swimming and biking. Unbeknown to me, I would need this mental and physical grit while taking a family camping vacation on Lake Powell.
Every morning I took a walk from our houseboat out into the surrounding desert to watch the sunrise, being careful to watch where I was going so I could find my way back. That year, the water level was unusually lower than normal and created deep canyons that concealed even the largest of houseboats. One morning, when I retraced my footprints, I could not find the boat. Even though I retraced my path more than once and peered over the edges of cliffs, I still could not put my eye on our boat.
At first I panicked, then I calmed down and opened the day pack I always carried. I had a full bottle of water, a ball cap, and a granola bar. Because of my rigorous training for a triathlon, I was at my physical peak and with the resolve of a competitor, I told myself that I had what it took to find my way back to the boat. After six hours of trekking through the desert to the other side of the lake, I climbed back down to the water, the boat, and my family.
We never know what awaits us along this journey we call life, but we can expect the unexpected will happen. When circumstances seem to thwart our passageway, we can assess our resources, refuse to panic and choose a different route around the obstacle. To live and finish well, life requires us to stick-to-it no matter what.
Why bother to build stamina? It is worth it to build endurance so that whatever we start we will have what it takes to also finish.