One evening I came across a TV show where contestants went through an obstacle course that suspended over water.  If they ended up in the water, then they had to attempt the course again.

The whole thing looked silly to me, but these folks were highly motivated because they knew what was at the end.  A chance to win a lot of money.

Some ran along a plank but then slipped and landed on their groin.  I involuntarily crossed my legs because that looked really painful.   Others would run, jump, and try to grab a moving object hoping to hang on and advance to the next part of the course but they ended up spinning upside down only to be flipped into the air making a quick descent into the water.

I cheered for each person attempting this crazy course, and wondered, what is so hard about this?  From my vantage point on the couch, it looked easy.  But each contestant struggled and fought as they traversed the course trying to maintain their hold and get to the finish line.

The part I disliked was when a person smacked into something there was always this sickening noise effect making it sound like they had seriously hurt themselves.  But they all would pop their head up out of the water ready to try again.  I think the show enhanced the noise by adding these awful sounds to dramatize the person’s demise.  Nevertheless, despite the pain and agony these contestants repeatedly got out of the water and climbed back up to navigate the course over and over staying focused on the prize.  This amazed me.

This game reminded me of when I was going to college for my nursing degree which was probably one of the most difficult things I have done in my life.  I never was fond of school especially tests so going through a nursing program was a huge thing for me.   Maybe an observer on the sideline would have commented, “What’s so hard about school?”  But I can vouch that this was no easy task.

I can and I will. Watch me. – Unknown

This trek was long and many times I had to put my game face on to bolster my inner warrior and get to the next phase of the course.

There were times I wanted to give up because hurtful words found their way to my ears like ‘you’re not good enough’ or ‘you won’t succeed’.  This would knock me off course as I started to doubt myself.  But I would get up, brush myself off and fight back.  “Oh yeah!  I am good enough and I can do this!”

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem

There were times I wanted to play and have fun instead of hunkering down and studying.  I remember one time I was so mad with my situation, meaning marriage, work, and school that I chucked all my nursing books out of the upstairs window.  Instantly I was filled with remorse thinking about the money I just tossed.  I ran downstairs and in-between sobs and tears I picked up each book and apologized for my stupid outburst.

In the last quarter of the nursing program, I struggled with one class and ended up not passing.  My instructor decided I could walk with my class through graduation since I was so close, but I had to wait till the next term to complete the class with a passing grade.  I did it and I received my nursing degree.

The state exam was brutal.  Uhg, did I say that I dislike tests?  The first time around I had a no pass score.  I was so disappointed that I wondered if I was good enough to be a nurse.  After waiting for a few months, I put my game face on and took the exam again.  The second attempt earned me a high score and a nursing license.  That day I was higher than a kite enjoying the emotion of one of the greatest accomplishments in my life.  What a feeling!

Put your game face on & take aim today because… no amount of self-doubt will improve the future or alter the past. – Unknown

So, I guess you can say I went through a moving obstacle course that flipped me in the air only to knock me down in the water a few times.  But I always got back up and kept trying until I succeeded.  Now that is something I can be proud of.

“Life is an obstacle course. You succeed at one thing and then you move on to the next. When an obstacle is tough, you try harder. When an obstacle is insurmountable, you change course. But you never sit down and refuse to finish.” – Bethenny Frankel,

If there is something you really want to do, then don’t give up after the first try.  Succeeding the first time is not the goal, it’s about the journey.  There are endless ways to arrive to the finish line and yours is one of those treks.

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But by all means, keep moving.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ask God for help, pull yourself up by the bootstraps and put your game face on.  Who cares if you do this over and over, this is your journey.  You may have spectators watching but remember, it’s not about how fast you get to the finish line it’s how you get there, so keep moving.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.



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