The Origin of Power
For reasons that escape me, I’ve always liked challenging my body . . . testing the limits of what my body can do. Perhaps “motivated” is a better word than “liked” because pushing myself physically has at times not been what one would call fun.
The U.S. Marine Corps embodies the concept of pushing the edges. Twenty-mile forced marches in full combat gear is their idea of amusement and, at the time, I reveled in the demand. It was a personal goal to break the time record on the strenuous obstacle course at basic training in Quantico, VA. (I came close but didn’t quite make it.)
Summitting Mt. Rainier in Washington State stands out as a most severe test. Although I was 51 years old when the climb took place, I was in pretty top shape for the adventure. For the last 1000 vertical feet every step was a conscious act of the will. At the 14,000-foot top I had one thought and one thought only: Thank you, Lord, I can’t go up anymore. I could not have been more gratified that I did it, but I definitely would not use the word fun for the experience.
Two quotes point to how I’ve been able to keep my body moving when it cries for relief. World champion bodybuilder Lee Haney said: “Your body will never go where your mind doesn’t go first.” And, anonymous: “Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind that you have to convince.” One’s body will not always go where the mind tells it to, but if the mind says “no go,” the body will listen and obey. To be sure, there have been times when my body could have done more but my mind didn’t take it there.
Pushing physical limits might not be an individual’s thing, but the principle applies to all of life. Accomplishing a task or reaching a goal is often prevented solely by a lack of will and/or determination. Developing mind power and will control is not an easy task. But it is an essential one if a person truly wishes to succeed in any given endeavor.