The Beauty In being Tenacious

Editors Note: This is a Guest Post from Nate Pennington. And while a bit longer than the average post is well worth your time! The picture above is Nate competing in the world armed forces cross-country championships in Switzerland.

The one word I think of when I think of anyone working toward a goal, whether athletes, entrepreneurs, all the way to steel workers working in the mills of my hometown of Mingo Junction, Ohio, is tenacious.

Let’s look at the definition of the word –

Not easily pulled apart; persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired

This blog revolves around three extremely important parts of life. Running, although maybe not the preferred exercise among the masses, has probably the biggest ‘give back’ to those willing to take it on.

Achieving is what we all want to do. I think it is safe to say everyone wants to achieve something important.

What Is Achievement?

A mother or father raising their kids on a single income is achievement to me. It takes a great deal of courage and fortitude to endure putting in long hours to support your family. That is ‘persistent in maintaining’ to its core.

A woman fighting against an ailment that she cannot understand, but because of her character, zest for life and love for her Creator, follows in the footsteps of her Saviour, enduring the suffering as He did…until she, too, wins…THAT, is tenacity in its purest sense, that I witness on a daily basis.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.-Picasso

My mother raised my brother and I on her own. My parents divorced when I was 11 and my brother and I have both seen what an individual with a tenacious attitude can do. I spent the majority of my teens around steel workers. My hometown, Mingo Junction, is a small mill town filled with Wheeling-Pittsburgh steel workers.

They know what must be done and they do it and most importantly, they have learned to enjoy what they do and take a great deal of pride in that work. You have to be tenacious in your running and bring a sense of purpose every time you step out the door.

I am honored to be a part of the town. It is filled with individuals, who may not be getting paid what they deserve, but go into work, day in and day out to accomplish a mission. They are tenacious. Running is the same. You may not see results as fast as you would like but you have to have the patience to endure and the willingness to get into a daily routine of excellence in what you do.

Perhaps you’re getting tired of trying and don’t see the point in working so hard and getting no results. Increase your faith. I know exactly how you feel. You have to be tenacious to get results and you have to learn to love, adapt to the workload and not back down when you fail.

Who has the right to tell you what you are not capable of?

How Can You Be More Tenacious?

Are you looking to run a new personal best? Do you see someone else running a time that you dream about, but unsure you are capable? Rest assured, you are already well capable of all of this and more.

I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. – John 14.12

The biggest obstacle is to grow consistent and with that, become tenacious in every thought and action to get good at it. Joel Runyon, in 17 Killer Strategies For Never Giving Up puts it beautifully,I am a believer in a higher power. You may or may not be, but living and dreaming of doing things that will bring the absolute best out in yourself is true living. Running isn’t easy for many people. Some swear by the fact that they are not runners. It is tragic.

The best way to get past imaginary limits is to make them as physical as possible and then physically smash them into pieces. When you do that it reminds you that the limits that seem so real in your mind, aren’t real at all. When you’re in the weight room, the iron never lies. It shows you exactly who you are and that with solid hard work you can overcome something you used to think was impossible to do.

You can become tenacious in running, having that desire, that attitude to not be pulled apart by your thoughts, by reprogramming your mind to think as though there are no impossibilities. You can’t give up!

Setting Limits On Yourself Is Unnecessary

Think about it. How many times have you and I placed a stress on ourselves that totally sapped us dry of energy and for what? We worry about things that usually never come true in the first place.

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary -Pablo Picasso

Picasso’s words, paintings and descriptions have moved me since I was a teenager. I have been amazed by the level of commitment he gave to his craft. He found something he was good at and worked his whole life to perfect it. This can be applied to anything.

There are endless books on running. What is stopping you from learning? Tenacity was instilled in all of us at birth. It was when we grew to be adults that we started placing limits on ourselves and let our minds grow soft

I believed anything was possible when I was a child. I had no limitations and am sure you didn’t either. What went wrong with us? We were told to be proper, do as we are told and most of the time, at least in my case, told NO far too many times.

Let Go Of Everything You Have Been Told

If you have been dreaming about jumping to the next level in your running, then you need to start, now, today, working toward that dream. I was told to quit, that my aspirations of wanting to run an Olympic Trials marathon standard (2.22.00 at the time) was unrealistic seeing I, at the time, had ‘only‘ run a 2.43.36.

I was relentless and tenacious in proving otherwise. We don’t have to set limits on ourselves. It isn’t fun, is unnecessary and sucks the enjoyment of taking on the sport of running out of most people who most certainly can do well. There has to be a change.

This is close to my heart because I have seen so many runners quit because they thought they were not good enough or even worse, we’re not told often enough that they had the capability. Some people need to be built up. They need to feel as though someone gives a shit about them.

If you are in a position to lift someone up, immediately do it. I am a man of rank in the military but to be honest, I’d rather take the time to be with the workers. Managers work their tails off too, often under appreciated and over worked, but those without a great deal of rank and clout suffer even more.

If given the chance, mentor someone with your knowledge and expertise and be willing to listen and learn from them as well. There are beginners out there who could teach me how to race better too. It is vital to be humble. This is a form of tenacity. This is true leadership.

That is unrealistic. Let’s think this over. If you were younger. You don’t have the qualifications. No. All statements we all have heard. Who told you these things? It surely wasn’t a child!! To be quite honest, I am tired of hearing that I am not capable or don’t have the qualifications.

People who want to get fit or run faster need to think like a child. There isn’t anything childish about it. I wasted many of my past races because of this. Too caught up in the adult mentality of limitations, worrying about things that I didn’t even have to concern myself with in the first place.

It’s windy, might not run a fast time now since it will slow me down. I didn’t sleep well last night, may have a poor race tomorrow. I have run some of my fastest races in windy conditions and with little sleep. What have been some of your idiotic, negative self-talk?

It’s fine. I am not calling you an idiot, but let’s be honest, worrying about things that we put in our minds that do us no good is a bit idiotic would you agree?

Farnish Brock left a fortune ’100′ company, after working there for 12 years to pursue her true passion to write and build her own company.

Dreaming About Doing Something Wonderful Makes Life Living.

If you want to be more diligent, tenacious and focused on achieving a running time goal, then you have to be extremely clear with yourself that no matter what you have to encounter along the path you take, you will meet your objective.

I want to run a marathon in 2.15.00 by the age of 38. I know what I am up against and am willing to kick doubt in the chops in order to nail that time. Leave no stone unturned in the process.

The truth is Motivation Is Not Out There: You Need To Look Within yourself. No one can teach motivation. Yes, you can read about it and about motivated individuals, but at the end of the day, it is up to you, to take action.

I wish I could make it easier for runners but the truth is, goals are not meant to be easy. How can I improve my breathing pattern when I run? How can I hold just 5 seconds per mile faster during my 5K? What do I have to do to learn to pace myself better?

Lay down at night before you go to bed and visualize a time you want to run. Motivate yourself to do something daily that will give you the slight edge into making that goal you have in mind, that dream, a reality. See it in your mind. Physically do the work but live what you want in your mind daily, several times.

As Andrea Bocelli sang so beautifully in the above video, ‘there are those who believe in you…don’t give up’. Tenacious people don’t. Crowd into that group!


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