When I came home from my class this morning (Wednesday), I found Mike out in the garage on his stationary bike. He assured me he didn’t need my help when he was finished like he had needed the few times before. He told me to go in the house and he would come when he was finished his ride. I nervously agreed.
I watched for him to come out of the garage from the kitchen window. I was relieved when I saw the garage door open and Mike walk out. Steam was coming off his body and he was dripping with sweat (which is normal). He slowly made his way toward the back steps and I went out and met him there and offered him a hand. With a big smile on his face, he told me again he was fine and didn’t need any help.
Mike was happy to report that he rode ten miles on his bike…he hasn’t gone ten miles for about a month. It was obvious he was pleased with his accomplishment, and I was impressed and very proud. Not only did he ride ten miles, but he walked down the back stairs, across the yard, into the garage, got on his bike, did the ten, got off his bike, made his way back across the yard, up the stairs and in the house…all by himself. Then, he went upstairs to the bathroom and had a shower. The only thing he asked me to do was dry his back.
Most days lately, I have helped him out the back door, down the stairs, across the yard, into the garage, on the bike, off the bike, out of the garage, back across the yard, up the stairs, in the house, up the stairs to the bathroom and into the shower. How did he know he didn’t need my help today? Because he tried! Sometimes he tries, and is unsuccessful and asks for help, but Mike just doesn’t stop trying. He has this amazing determination that is inspiring. Many of us would have thrown in the towel by now, but Mike uses the towel to wipe the sweat off his brow...and he never gives up.
Mike is teaching me about perseverance, patience and the power of positive thinking. He has also taught me the importance of having a faith that is not easily shaken. Something else, he just never says "I can’t".
Continuous, unflagging effort, persistence and determination will win. Let not the man be discouraged who has these. James Whitcomb Riley