Strength with Grace: Rewards

By Natalie Utley

In life we are often faced with decisions to either give up or press-on. My sister in law reminded me of a time when I first got her started in road cycling. She was 3 months in remission from cancer. She began her journey of regaining strength and endurance, and cycling was a perfect fit. One of our rides proved to be more than a casual cruise as we came to the base of a huge hill and began climbing it. The hill seemed to drag on and became increasingly more difficult, as if it morphed into a mountain. I rode up beside her to encourage her to keep pedaling and told her to imagine the reward. Imagine the reward. Her mindset changed, she didn’t give in to the temptation of hopping off her bike mid-climb and walking the rest of the hill. She kept pushing and pulling with each pedal stroke. She knew at the top of that hill was not only a beautiful and breezy coast down but also winning a battle within her own body and mind. She was free of cancer and done with all the treatments that ate away her muscles. She was increasing her strength physically, and mentally she was going to prove it. She persevered and was victorious in the end.

     When you stand at the feet of difficulty you have to make a choice. Don’t give up just before you see the prize, experience the feeling of achievement,  or reap the rewards. Visualize the accomplishment and how the effort you put forth today will be another step closer to your goals.  While you carry-on in the face of discouragement you must envision the benefits for that exertion. Nothing comes easy or free, and you have to work for it. So fight for it because it does matter, and will matter.