Don’t Stop Believing – Indomitable Spirit Required

If you’re here because you saw the title and expected a Journey/Glee themed post about the song then I’m afraid you jumped off the Midnight Train a few stops too early! I won’t take it personally if you leave, but feel free to stick around. (There may even be a song at the end of this!)

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. – Mahatma Ghandi

As you might have guessed from that quote, this is the standard ‘Inspirational Blog Post’. Let’s try to do it justice…

A few years ago I took part in a 5km “Fun Run” (It’s in parenthesis because it wasn’t that fun at the time) to support the British Heart Foundation. Seeing as this jog was at the very end of November, it was a Santa Jog, where all participants were issued a Santa Claus costume as part of their entry fee. They were then required to complete the run whilst dressed as Santa hat, beard and everything.

Upon finishing the Santa Jog I got this medal – and decided to stop running…

The Santa Jog came at a time when I didn’t really run. I had done a few brief training runs, though nothing up to the 5km mark, I lacked the willpower to stick it out as, at the time, I found running incredibly boring. I was cocky and overconfident, thinking that I would breeze right through this in no time flat, seeing as I was pretty fit and in quite good shape as a result of my Tae Kwon-Do. During the run, I started to feel differently and began to struggle. The explosive fitness that I had developed through my Tae Kwon-Do practice was an entirely different kettle of fish to that needed for the more endurance related task of running. I was struggling and wanted to finish, but I was so tired and just wanted to walk the rest of the way, my body hurting from the unfamiliar prolonged exertion. There was only one problem with that idea…

I couldn’t let myself do it. to know that there were so many other people running with me and not giving up made me think “Am I really this weak? I’m just going to let myself give up because I’m finding this tough?” The response? “HECK NO!! We’re finishing this!” I hadn’t banked on my Indomitable Spirit shining through, stopping me from giving in, forcing me to keep going. The idea behind Indomitable Spirit is that everyone has the character to shine through adversity and challenges, that they won’t give in to anything and will give a hundred percent until they just cannot give any more. Indomitable Spirit is one of the five tenets of Tae Kwon-Do and it is the tenet that I identify most with. The idea of never giving in and never letting anything overwhelm you is an idea that I can definitely get behind. If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly and not giving up halfway because it’s too difficult. Unfortunately, at the time of the Santa Jog I wasn’t ready to keep pushing with running, even though my Indomitable Spirit had got me through the rest of the run and I gave up running for a few years.

Earlier this summer I started running again, inspired by my friends and the new Parkrun initiative. I grabbed some running gear and headed out to the start of the course bright and early on a Saturday morning and proceeded to complete the 5km course. I’ve kept this up every week since so far and even though I still find running dull and occasionally find it hard to keep going on the runs due to a twingey (is that a word?) thigh muscle, I’ve always pushed myself through and made it to the end – usually with a smile on my face. All of this is down to the idea of Indomitable Spirit and never giving up, no matter what the odds.

 

So, tell me: What situations have you been in where you’ve needed to call upon your Indomitable Spirit to succeed?

Share your answers in comments and, as mentioned at the start, here’s a rendition of the Song “Don’t Stop Believing” originally by Journey. This version makes it onto my running playlist due to the up-tempo beat and the fact that it serves as an audible reminder to do exactly what the song says – Don’t. Stop. Believing.

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