Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NEVER QUIT

And now for a guest post from one of my amazing friends, Laurie.

My favorite veteran is my grandfather. Every time I see him I am privileged to hear a new story from his days in the service. Most of the stories are from the Korean War. My grandfather is a master storyteller, each glimpse into the past is told with precise details. Think about that! My 88-year-old grandfather can recall details from over 60 years ago. This is exceptional not only because his mind is sharp at the tender age of 88, but because the events that took place in war had such a stark impact on him they are recalled vividly in his memory.

 I'm fortunate my grandfather is able to talk to me about the war. Some of the details of war are so gruesome and painful the men and women who so bravely fought on the front lines or cared for the wounded can't bring themselves to speak of what transpired, what they felt or what they saw. I don't blame them.

 I am thankful to all those who have served this country and who are currently serving. It is a call of duty I'm not sure I could answer without tremendous fear slithering through every platelet of my blood. Let's not forget about the families who endure the worrying, the deployments, the loss and everything else I can't begin to comprehend.

 I read a book that changed my life, Marcus Luttrell's “The Lone Survivor”. Marcus Luttrell was the lone survivor of a mission in Afghanistan. His mantra: Never Quit. It's a powerful story about never giving up, and I do mean powerful. His fallen teammates kept firing away at the enemy while their own bodies were drilled with gunshot wounds. Luttrell fell off a mountain and forced his injured body to crawl, alone in enemy territory to save his life. This book moved me to become a greater supporter of our troops. For more about Marcus Luttrell visit the Lone Survivor Foundation. Do you like heroes?

 I've recently discovered Todd Love. Todd is a war hero who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan. By the way, he completes Spartan Races and Stadium Climbs. Yes, you read that correctly, he has one limb and completes physical challenges that are challenging for people who have all their appendages. The next time you think you can't do something, remember this extraordinary veteran. Our veterans can teach us so many lessons. They can give us inner strength we didn’t know we had. You can honor a veteran every day by taking advantage of the things you take for granted.

 I often use the stories of our veterans to motivate myself when I’m struggling with working out. Remember the physical and mental sacrifices of our veterans … ...next time your alarm goes off so you can get up to work out and you think you're too tired ...next time you're a half mile into your run and want to throw in the towel ...next time you don't think you have ten more reps left ...next time you think you think you'll never be fast enough or strong enough Remember what our soldiers have endured, what they thought was not possible and then ask yourself again: Do you have the energy to get up? - Yes! Can you make it one more mile? - Yes! Do you have ten more reps? - Yes! Will you be fast enough and strong enough? - Yes! How can you be sure? It's easy - NEVER QUIT!
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