Updated: Jul 22
Stamina- sustain prolonged physical or mental effort. (In other words, keep going and don't quit).
My first real taste of what stamina really meant was in basic training during our first ruck march. I'm seventeen years old, seven hundred miles from home, a thirty-pound ruck sack on my back, carrying a twenty-pound weapon, and all i could think about was how bad i wanted to be back home instead of doing this stupid ruck march.
The first mile wasn't too bad, it was like a casual walk just carrying some heavy crap on my back and in my arms. I remember looking around at how beautiful the woods of Georgia were and how it would be cool if we saw some wildlife running around.
By the second mile my lower back was starting to hurt, my shins were starting to burn a little, and that dang weapon was getting heavier by the step. I found myself looking ahead and finding certain landmarks to make it to hoping that the end was getting close.
The third mile was hell. I was trying to adjust my ruck sack so my back and shoulders wouldn't hurt so bad, but i couldn't adjust much because the damn heavy weapon i was carrying was getting in the way. My shins were burning like someone had a torch on them and i had to let a few guys pass me because i couldn't keep up.
The fourth mile i heard the drill sergeants asking guys if they wanted to quit and get in the truck to ride back to base. When they got to me and asked i debated saying yes but there was something in my head saying NO. That no came from the thought of "i have made it this far and i'm not giving up now." Through my back killing me, my shins on fire, and my arms feeling like they weighed five hundred pounds all i could think is not today. I will not be beat today. Today is mine to dominate and win.
The fifth mile i put my head down and concentrated on one step at a time. I was quietly saying to myself "left, left, left, right, left, left, left, right." As long as i was doing that i couldn't concentrate on the pain my body was feeling.
I went on and finished the ruck march that day, along with doing many, many more throughout my whole military career. Thats what infantry soldiers do.
That my friends is life in a nutshell. There is not one thing you have ever done that didn't cause some kind of physical or mental pain. From your first step as a baby until this very moment stamina has kept you going. So where did we learn that quitting was an option?
When the fear of the unknown pain became more powerful than the happiness and joy we would feel from succeeding.
We put in our minds that we want something then we destroy it with thoughts of unknown obstacles and what if's. We don't even give ourselves the chance to succeed.
I had no idea that ruck march was going to hurt so bad, i also had no idea i was going to overcome every obstacle put in my way that day. Physically and mentally.
I completed the mission by not looking for the end goal but by concentrating on each step. I took control of my thoughts to the point i couldn't hear that voice in my head telling me to quit and get in the truck.
Stamina is built with consistency.
Want to lose fifty pounds? Concentrate on the first pound then the second and third.
Want to quit drinking? Concentrate on one day at a time.
Want to change your life? Concentrate on one thing to start with.
Want to develop a powerful mindset? Accept it's going to take time, and with that time you build the stamina to not only achieve what it is you want but also the ability to maintain and grow what you have achieved.
Stamina is the long game of success. Stamina is why winning becomes the addiction you never want to stop.