Running has taught me some important life lessons lately. One of them occurred to me just the other week.
I was running up 36th Street between Harrison Boulevard and Skyline Drive—a fairly long, steep stretch of road. It had been a long run at the end of a long day and I was getting exhausted.
I was tempted to stop running and start walking. It probably would have been faster after all, and I was discouraged because I could still barely see the top of the hill.
Then, a thought came to my mind: If there is one thing harder than to keep running, it’s stopping and then trying to start running again.
Sometimes in life, we face very similar options. We may think that taking a break from school, work, chores, family life, dating or exercise will allow us to return stronger, or that the return to these activities will be easy.
I am guilty of this kind of thinking and have been even more so in the past, but recently I have found that the true key to success in life is consistency.
Consistency rarely overburdens. It certainly doesn’t burden as much as last-minute cramming, or simply trying to beat the force of inertia after a long break. Consistency and good habits can be your friends on the road to a fulfilling, happy life, as well as achieving success in your schooling, employment and relationships.
If you feel like you are stuck and you cannot see the end of the semester some nine weeks away, take another step. Go to your lecture, write your paper, crack your textbook open to study.
If you stop now, it will be as if the hard work you have already done was in vain. Those who drop out are less likely to come back and be successful in their studies.
After a long and difficult struggle up 36th Street, I was finally able to reach the top and felt tremendously accomplished because of it. Even if you are not a runner, the end of your schooling can feel just as good when you follow through.
Now go and be kind to yourself, and finish this semester strong.