Last week on our trip to Arkansas, I was determined to keep up with my running schedule, despite the fact that the cabins we were staying at were at the bottom of a hill and I’m used to running on a treadmill (yes, I know, I’m such a slacker to run indoors in air-conditioning! :)).
That first morning, I got up early, laced up my running shoes, and headed out into the humid weather, excited at the thought of running as the sun was still coming up. I quickly realized that running on a treadmill doesn’t hold a candle to running in the heat, humidity, and hills. In fact, I think I’d only run a quarter mile uphill before I started to wonder if I was even going to be able to make it a full mile!
As I was panting and struggling up to the top of the hill, I thought of so many of you who are experiencing similar feelings in your financial situation right now. You’re determined to get out of debt, start living on a strict budget, and/or working hard to put yourself in a better financial position.
You’re slogging up a steep incline, feeling like you’re barely getting anywhere. You’re tired, exhausted, discouraged, and wondering why you had this crazy idea to jump out and be counter-cultural in the first place. You want to give up, stop, or turn back.
I felt the same way as I was running up that hill. I kept thinking, “Why am I doing this?” My legs hurt, my muscles ache, and I really don’t want to keep going.
But I pushed myself onward, reminding myself that once I got to the top, the hardest part was behind me. There were times when I slowed down so much that I was barely jogging. A couple of times, I even walked for a bit when I felt so out-of-breath that I thought I might keel over. But I didn’t let myself stop until I got to the top.
And you know what? It was so worth it! As I started going downhill, I had renewed energy and a spring in my step. When only minutes before I felt like I couldn’t go another foot, now I was bounding down the hill with zeal. I would have never gotten to experience the thrill of running downhill if I hadn’t first put forth all the effort to claw my way up that long hill.
If you’re feeling like you’re barely making any traction with your goals and finances and every step forward takes almost more strength and stamina than you can muster, please don’t lose heart. It may feel impossible to keep going, but don’t stop–however tempting it may be.
Your hard work and incredible effort will pay off. Your many financial sacrifices will make a difference.
Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep inching forward–if even at a snail’s pace. The best is yet to come!