Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pep Talk: "Persevere Too"

Ever have those days when you feel like waving the white flag of surrender? Ya know, those moments when you want to toss the towel into the middle of the boxing ring of life and say, “No mas!”

Sure, we all have. Perhaps the frustration resides within health ailments, a relationship gone sour or business faltering. Maladies have unique DNA. What is common, whatever ails us, is the strategy in dealing with them. It boils down to a simple question: Will we become a victim of the circumstances of life or become a student of the experience? It’s our choice.

Recently, on a Saturday morning, within a span of one hour, I was reminded, from three different people, to the power of perseverance, defined as “persistence in the course of action especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.”

The opening act of this terrific trio was my mother, Patsy. We had a phone chat while I was driving the 30-minute trek from the Mile High City to Boulder, Colorado. We have developed a routine where I always call, she lives in Kansas City, Kansas, after my Friday morning men’s fellowship group. I share with her Bible verses studied by a bunch of knucklehead dudes. She then reads them aloud and mother and son discuss their meaning and how they apply to our lives. Life has not been easy for the mother of four but now, in her golden years, despite physical ailments, her mind is sharp and her mood seems content. She has persevered.

The trek to Boulder was to see a buddy who has also demonstrated the advantages of being persistent in the course of action despite difficulties, obstacles and discouragement. I’ve known John Wristen for almost 30 years. We first met long ago when I was starting my television sportscasting career in Harlingen, Texas, a major city of the Rio Grande Valley along America’s border with Mexico. Now the highly successful coach of the Colorado State University-Pueblo Thunderwolves, Wristen was an assistant football coach at Weslaco, Texas high school during the same time frame. Our paths have crossed many times since and we’ve remained close friends. His CSU-Pueblo team stayed in Boulder before its game against Colorado School of Mines in Golden and I sat in on the team’s, now ranked #1 in the nation, pre-game chapel service. The Pueblo, Colorado native has weathered many a storm, personally and professionally, to reach his current lofty status. He has persevered.

On the drive back to Denver, it was time for another chat, with my stepmother Jo Jo. She also lives in Kansas City, on the Missouri side, and is preparing for a sixth, and final, round of chemotherapy, in a battle to fight off non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Her spirits are high, the prognosis is good and as she says, “There’s light at the end of the tunnel.” The Auxvasse, Missouri native was married to my late father for almost 30 years. Life has had its share of challenges for her too, but I’ve never heard a complaint. She has persevered.

Within 60 minutes, connections with three people who have lived the definition of perseverance and demonstrated the benefits of being persistent in the course of action despite difficulties, obstacles and discouragement.

Let’s join them this week. We’ll be better for the effort. Persevere too.

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