A young runner was very excited.
After months of intense training, he was running in his very first marathon.
After the starter’s gun went off, he started with great enthusiasm, taking great strides and building a strong rhythm.
However, after a few miles, he began to tire and he felt like stopping.
“Don’t stop! If you can’t run, at least you can jog,” said a small voice in his head.
So, he slowed to a jog and was able to continue along the road, if a little slower than before.
After a few more miles, the lactic acid had really started to build and his legs were feeling weak. Again, he felt like stopping.
“Don’t stop! If you can’t run, at least you can walk,” said the same voice.
So, he walked.
Whilst the progress was slower and other runners were passing him by, he was still gradually moving towards the finish line.
After a while, his left leg began to cramp badly and he was in a lot of pain. Now, he was seriously considering giving up.
“Don’t stop! If you can’t walk, at least you can hobble.”
And so he hobbled, dragging his left leg as he painfully ambled along the road.
He was getting close to the end now, but was in incredible pain.
The temptation to stop was strong, he didn’t feel like he could go on any more.
“Don’t stop! If you can’t hobble, at least you can crawl,” said the voice.
“That’s ridiculous,” the runner responded to himself. “I can’t crawl in front of all of these people, I’ll look like an idiot!”
“If you can’t run, and you can’t jog, and you can’t walk, and you can’t hobble, but you still want to finish the race, you’ll do whatever you can to get across the line.”
So, slightly embarrassed, the young man got down on his hands and knees and crawled until he managed to make it across the finish line.
Utterly exhausted, he lay down on the ground for a moment, until someone asked if he was OK.
“OK? I’ve just finished a marathon, I feel awesome!” He responded and jumped to his feet with enthusiasm, forgetting momentarily the pain that he was in as he raised his arms in celebration.
As you read this story, think of how many times people give up on their dreams as they believe that they can’t keep going, when perhaps they just need to find another way to keep making progress.
We won’t always have the energy, enthusiasm or motivation to run headlong towards our goals, but you’ll be surprised at how much progress you’ll be able to make if, instead of stopping, you slow down a little.
I don’t know what your goals are, what the obstacles in front of you are or how you feel about life at the moment.
But this I do know.
Every single day…
You can make progress!
I know that I would rather crawl across the line than stop halfway and regret it for the rest of my life.