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Never Quit

I am often reminded of what my high school soccer coach said to me during a preseason game over twenty years ago. We were playing a team from a nearby town that happened to have one of the best offensive players in the state. Lucky me, I got to cover him on defense. Midway through the second half I was clearly tiring. My coach noticed this and yelled to me, “Jon Scheinman, you are one of the guys who are never coming out!” The implicit meaning of his exclamation was that I needed to be ready to play the whole game, to come prepared both mentally and physically and to always give everything I had on the field.

It is often said that we are a sum total of all our experiences throughout our lives. But over the course of time, there are those gems that are forever fused with the fabric of our identities. For me, this is one of those statements.

Looking back over time, I have a track record of staying with a situation as long as possible and sometimes to a fault. Doing so has left me with little regret as to what the outcome would be. Since Olivia was born, she has tested every part of my emotional and physical endurance. But every time I was close to giving up on hope or letting fear and discouragement get the best of me, in the back of my mind I would constantly hear, “Jon Scheinman, you are never coming out.”

Today, this phrase is more important than ever. It drives me to always try my best with every aspect of my life. I made two promises to Olivia over the last nearly seven years. The first one came early on when she was in the hospital. I told her that someone would always be with her especially while she was in the hospital no matter how many times or how long she was there. I often looked around at children in empty rooms kept company only by a symphony of blinking, beeping machines. My heart broke for them and I swore I would never let that happen to her. The second promise was I would continue her physical therapy at home every day to help her build the strength and flexibility she needs to have the best chance for developing. So every evening and on weekends, I help her with exercises and a stretching routine. Believe me, after a long day of work, it is not easy but again I hear, “you are never coming out.” How else will Olivia reach her full potential if she does not have the assistance she needs and deserves? It would be similar to a professional musician only practicing a few days a week. The constant repetition and dedication to succeed is what makes them great.

Life can be difficult and extremely trying at times. As Tom Hanks said in A League of Their Own, “It is the hard that makes it good.” We value happiness and normalcy, but without sadness and disarray, how would we ever know the difference? So I say, never quit when life gets too hard. Find something or someone that inspires you to keep you going. In the end, we are judged not by our words but by our actions. Finish projects you start. Keep commitments and promises you make. It develops respect and trust in others and builds character. Never quit on yourself, but most importantly, never quit on your family and your friends. They are the people who depend on you the most and who will be there for you in return.

The video to the left is the song Stand by Rascal Flatts and it illustrates the theme of never quitting. Here are the lyrics as well.

You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless, like you've lost your fight
But you'll be alright, you'll be alright

‘Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend ‘til you break
‘Cause it's all you can take

On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand, then you stand

Life's like a novel with the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon with only one way down
Take what you're given before it's gone
And start holdin' on, keep holdin' on

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend ‘til you break
‘Cause it's all you can take

On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand, yeah, then you stand

Every time you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place, yeah

‘Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend ?til you break
‘Cause it's all you can take

Yeah, then you stand
Yeah, baby
Woo hoo, woo hoo
Woo hoo, woo hoo
Then you stand, yeah yeah

Thanks for reading!

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Comments 1

Guest - brian morrissey on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 10:19

We had great coaches in soccer and life. I heard them yelling at me every time I am on a run....they are still chasing me down maple street telling me I should have trained harder during the summer. That vien in his head, spit on his lip, and the mustache, spouting those words of encouragement or demanding more. your girls are lucky to have such devotion. you inspire!!

We had great coaches in soccer and life. I heard them yelling at me every time I am on a run....they are still chasing me down maple street telling me I should have trained harder during the summer. That vien in his head, spit on his lip, and the mustache, spouting those words of encouragement or demanding more. your girls are lucky to have such devotion. you inspire!!
Guest
Tuesday, 22 September 2020

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