Blocks and Breakthroughs

When I was in my early twenties, I went on a canoe outing with a young adult group. I ended up being paired with a slight young woman. We were probably the lightest team (I’m not a big person), and as far as muscle power, not the strongest. Midway through the day, someone had noticed that we were the only team that had yet to capsize. Where we lacked in strength and size, we had in coordination and skill. We were the fastest team, and the most adept at handling the rapids and the rest of the Delaware River.

From that point on, it became the goal of a few teams to flip us over. The chase was on. No matter how close they got to us, we managed to not only avoid them, but even divert them into dead ends. This only made them madder. Finally, we were exhausted. It seemed like we would never reach the finish. We gave up the chase, and they flipped our canoe.

We were only about 100 yards from the finish. We couldn’t see it, as it was around the very next bend.

It is usually when we are most stretched, when we’ve used our last ounce of strength, that we are closest to our goal. Had we paddled only 50 more feet, we would have seen the finish. Another minute of the fight would have brought us the sight that would have spurred out of us the last bit of effort to bring us victory.

So what was it that robbed us the breakthrough? It was our thoughts. We thought we couldn’t hold out any longer. Could we have? Of course we could have if we knew where the end was. But not seeing it was enough to block us.

This is how it is with every goal. The bigger the goal, the bigger the test. We will always reach what the runner calls “The Wall”. That barrier that seems so formidable, but that which only winners pass. Do you think that the winner doesn’t experience the wall? Of course he or she does, EVERY TIME. But the difference between the winner and everyone else, is that the winner pushes through. The only defeat we ever suffer is the defeat that we accept, the defeat that we believe in.

‘Til next time,


One Response to Blocks and Breakthroughs

  1. Granada Dave says:

    An excellent illustration of blocks and brekthroughts, and another dose of inspiration for me!

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