Two reminders in two days. One unfolded in almost complete isolation and anonymity over the course of hours, and the other…well about as public it gets and it took all of 17 seconds. A lonely road in the Mt. Hood Classic stage race, and the Stanley Cup Finals. Two extremes yet the same lesson – never quit. You stop working at it and your fate is sealed. You press on and maybe, just maybe you will reach your goal.
First there was this line from a buddy as he described the last stage of a bike race on Sunday:
“Just spin and finish and all will be well!”
He was 50+ miles into a 70+ mile final stage when his body started shutting down and he lost contact with the leaders. As he described it, he could pull over and quit, which every logical thought told him to do, or he could pedal. Needless to say he rode through the pain. He kept spinning, eventually caught back onto the leaders and ultimately found himself standing on the podium. At that dark and lonely moment he had the choice: Quit or Continue. He carried on; slow at first, but gradually gaining speed, and ultimately gaining strength and finally success.
Then there was the Blackhawks. The biggest stage in hockey. An international audience. Time was running out in the game, the Blackhawks had a choice – play on or let the last 90 seconds wind down and head back to Chicago for game seven on their home ice. Not only did they press on, they pulled their goalie and went all in to try to tie the game. The video is just too good not to post…sorry Bruins fans, but the action is just too good:
Nothing too complex really…just keep grinding. Keep moving. Keep pushing. Keep working it. Keep playing. Never give up and never quit. Yet again the clichés of sports: “race through the finish line”, “play to the whistle”, and of course “it ain’t over ’til it’s over”. There is a reason clichés become, well clichés. They are based in fact and have withstood the test of time. Yet again, thanks to sports for reminding us all to stick with it, even when it seems all is lost.