Life is full of extraordinary stories of hope, determination, perseverance and triumph – despite personal injury, loss or trauma suffered in the process. Man has long sought comfort and inspiration from tales of exceptional bravery and victory in the apparent jaws of impending doom, failure or defeat.
One such character who I was privileged to hear about at a recent talk by the great speaker and explorer Rob Caskie, was the legendary Polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
The truly heroic story of Shackleton’s mission, interpreted initially as a failure by the outside world, has gone on to be recognised as one of the most incredible examples of loyalty, unbreakable Iron Will, determination and the truest test of the mettle and will power.
Therein lies the lesson for all of us. It is not uncommon to give up on something that is seemingly too difficult or too long or unrealistic. Far too often we panic or falter at the first sight of an obstacle, or are not patient enough to wait for the results to appear. My many attempts to lose weight or bowl at 100mph spring to mind!
But it is often in the attempt itself that you discover your greatest strengths and weaknesses, and find the motivation to carry on.
I am currently on a personal mission to beat the scales so that I reach the weight necessary for a personal operation to go ahead. To date all the necessary tests have come back clear, but I am awaiting the result of one more crucial one. Thanks to everyone who has offered their support and well wishes in this endeavour.
Shakelton’s family Motto was “by endurance we conquer” and he stated that “difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.” These are words that will serve me well in the weeks ahead.