To my F3 Lancaster brothers who have been struggling lately,
I have only a few rules for my life. I could probably add a couple more, but these are essential:
- Do my best to love God and try to realize He loves me, just as I am, not as I think I should be.
- Do my best to love my wife and kids by decisively making choices, every day, to do the little things that will eventually add up to mean something significant.
- If I’m going to do something, do it right the first time. When I don’t get it right, own it and make it right.
- Accept responsibility for failure; lavish praise for success.
- Honor our Nation by remembering and celebrating those who have protected her.
- Finally, never quit on a hill.
I’ve failed a time or two at all but my last one. I never quit on a hill – ever! My speed might slow, I might limp as my sprint turns to a jog, but I do not quit. I do not walk. I do not stop.
Before jacking my back up, I used to be a runner. I’ve never been fast and a single marathon in 1999 was enough for my bucket list, but I loved running. When I was sidelined six years ago, I dropped into depression and fits of rage. Running had always managed my emotions. Running was my prescription. Frustrated? Run! Tempted? Run! Angry? Run!
I joined F3 7 months ago and it has changed my life. I’m even back to running short jaunts when my back allows. I might be “the six” on any run, but I don’t quit – ever. It might get ugly and slow, but I don’t quit.
I’ve seen a lot of HIMs wrestle with sad clown syndrome (we all do). I remember your faces and a few of your F3 names. Some of you, my F3 brothers, started well but have drifted to your old life (you’re not alone… every one of us has our ups and downs). We miss you. I miss you.
4am wakeups are tough. Getting out of a comfortable bed to post in 20-degree weather is hard. But, such choices are the hill set before you. These are your daily red pills. You can chose to drift back into the lifestyle you had before F3, but I wonder, wasn’t there something from within your soul that drove you to post that first day? Isn’t there something missing in your life, now that you’ve slipped back to the former ways, that you need to get back? I know you feel that call of the wild to become the best man you can be for you, your family, and your community. It’s not too late; it’s never too late.
If you’re in town and not working a swing shift this Saturday, you have only three options:
- Post at the Joe Davis run in Rock Hill (great cause / great HIMs);
- Join us at Normandy (I’ll have my 2.0s “Parkour” and “Jumper” assisting me on Q) or post to another site if you like;
- Ignore the call of the wild God placed deep inside of you.
This is your hill. Don’t quit. Don’t stop. Don’t give up.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt. “Man in the Arena.” from Citizenship in A Republic as cited in theodore-roosevelt.com.