The Power of Persistence and Resilience

challenge focus hope setbacks Oct 27, 2021

The game of football is all about progression under pressure. Time restrictions, boundary restrictions, and let’s not forget about the opposing team.

Each player is being measured against numbers. In particular, the running back has the responsibility of receiving a handoff or a short pass to run through a line of defenders. More times than not, someone gets a hand or an arm on the running back to stop him in his tracks and end the play. Once the running back has been grabbed or pushed, his performance is measured by a metric known as yards after contact or “YAC” The YAC is a key performance indicator to determine which running back is in the starting line up. It’s not enough to successfully receive the ball from the quarterback, it’s how far you can progress under pressure. 

Retired Detroit Lions running back and NFL Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders, is arguably one of the best running backs of all times. His exceptional performance drew even more attention because of a less than stellar offensive line to support his advance. Nevertheless, Barry would make quick adjustments and find openings in the defensive line and give his best effort. When necessary he would “make a hole” between two defenders and plough his way through. 

In the game of life we may not receive all the support we need and the assistance we desire. The best efforts of others may pale in comparison to our relentless input. There will be obstacles, setbacks, and disappointments. These unfortunate occasions are the reality of life. Only by resilience and persistence can we forge a path toward our intended goals. Moving toward the goal will make us a success, but our ability to move beyond the challenges will define our significance. A closed door doesn’t mean there are no openings. Our goals demand that we find another way.

Have you allowed a setback to be your final destination? Has the rejection of others become your permanent rest stop? 

In the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, 

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

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