Posted by: Joe English | July 21, 2010

Commentary — When Being a Stubborn Bitch Pays Off

running-advice-bugSo when does being a stubborn bitch pay off? It pays off in finishing marathons.

In a recent note from a friend named Kim, Kim told me about her experience with a disappointing result that has since given her even more resolve to work harder and try again. I saw Kim on the course three times and she describes the pain and agony of that race something like this:

Kim at Mile 3, Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon

“…on the race course when I had only completed mile three – mile three – and you came up behind me, you put your hand on my shoulder and told me to relax. You did that just a moment after I knew I was completely screwed for the marathon…I hurt a lot already. . . . Nothing was going right and I had serious questions about my ability to finish already and my mental game was way off. . . .I moved on. And on. And I finished. Miserable time and all, I finished. It’s when I do things like that where I likely earn my title of “stubborn bitch.”

There’s something to be said for being stubborn. Not that I’m advocating pushing through an injury or doing anything stupid, but marathons are often a test of wills. The test of wills starts with you setting a goal, having a picture about how the day is going to go, and then watching everything drop on the floor. It seems this test of wills is between you and God, because sometimes the roadblocks seem a little more than divinely placed in your path. It is only through your ability to persevere through these tests that your find a deeper meaning in completing your goal.

You may have missed your finish time and not had the day that you planned, but think about the great stories in your life that come from things not going as planned. I often tell the story of the time that I had to change my clothes, so I went into a bathroom to change and midway through I realized the hard way that I was in the women’s bathroom. Would I have asked to experience that humiliation? Not a chance. But it has become one of the most entertaining stories that you will ever hear me tell.

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