Thursday, March 9, 2017

Habit of the Week - Persistence

Persistence ~  The ability to stick with something in spite of opposition, obstacles, or discouragement.

I look back on so many memories with my buddy Chester.  When I ponder the word persistence....I think of a school-age-boy who was probably 9 or 10 years old when we first met at Schreiber Pediatric Hospital in PA.   He was a  young man who struggled greatly with reaching his goals, or perhaps even thinking he had the abilities to reach beyond his current circumstances.  His very wise therapist helped this young man by setting a difficult but achievable goal, the goal of running 1 mile ~ a goal that seemed in the boy's mind to be out of reach.

Week after week this young man would practice.  Week after week this young man would get stuck at the half mile mark.  The task ahead would become too big. And he would quit, usually with a huge meltdown.  He needed an extra dose of strength body.mind.spirit.

And that dose came in the form a four legged friend named Chester.   It really was Chester, who helped this young boy get his eyes off of himself and on toward victory. Sometimes, it helps to walk, or run, alongside a smiling, trotting, tail-wagging-high, never.give.up, kind of best friend.

Persistence paid off. Our young friend made his finish line goal with hands raised, a smile across his face from ear to ear, a ribbon trailing across his chest, and heaps of new-found confidence in his spirit ..... & a panting golden retriever at his side. The entire staff at the hospital, family and friends, cheered with abandon!

That day is forever in my memory.

And the day I shared this story with my Almond Acres a forever memory as well!  When I told the story of my PA friend crossing the finish line for the very first time, these California students clapped and cheered!  

Stories are meant to be shared. To inspire. To help us persist when the going gets tough. To remind we are not alone.  To remind us of what we are capable of doing, even when we think we can't...and that sometimes we might need a friend to help us  reach our goals, to cheer us on.

My friend at Schreiber Hospital would be thrilled to know that his struggle, which became his story of persistence and success, is touching lives like ripples in a pond ~~ going on and on to inspire others to cross their own finish lines.  



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