Have you ever run into a brick wall? Oh, I don’t mean the brick and mortar kind. I mean a sudden situation in your life where the breath gets knocked out of you mentally and emotionally. What did you do? Did you just lie there and give up? Or did you check for broken bones, slowly sit up and then climb to your feet?
I’ve had runner friends who’ve talked about running a marathon and hitting the wall. They lost their energy, their focus and their will to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But they had friends posted along the race route to help cheer them on. The words yelled, “You can do it” managed to get through their foggy brains. The fog lifted and their focus came back. They made it past the wall and finished the race.
Others have faced a different kind of brick wall. Pete was a mountain climber … but due to a climbing accident, his back was broken. He ran smack dab into a brick wall. His was no ordinary wall. Physically he couldn’t push past this one. But Pete did not let that wall stop him. He chose to climb again … only this time he didn’t use his feet and legs. He used his hands and arms and a special machine he designed just for him. He went around his wall.
We have some very close friends who were so excited to learn they were going to have their first child. A few months before the due date, the doctors sensed a problem and did some tests. The word came back … the baby would have Downs Syndrome when it was born. This young couple faced their huge wall and then climbed over. They would have the baby and love it. She is now a darling little girl named Joby.
My first brick wall came in the form of a divorce. I had no idea I was running head on into a wall. It took me some time to get up off the ground. I lay there dazed, confused and fearful. But I did recover. My bruises and scars were not fatal. I took my wall apart piece by piece.
When I was a member of Toastmasters, I competed in speech contests. During one speech, I hit my own special brick wall. I had complete whiteout in my brain. I frantically searched for words in my mind, but found a huge void. As I stood in front of that audience, my mind flashed back to ice skating. I’ve seen some of the greatest skaters fall. But they instantly get back up, sometimes so quickly it appears they bounced on the ice. Then they finish their routine.
I chose to finish my speech. I turned to my husband and asked him for help. He found my typed speech and gave me the magic words to trigger my brain. I was off and running. The speech flowed marvelously and I finished with a flourish. It was only a small wall.
We all have brick walls. Maybe yours is the word cancer or downsizing. Have you even recognized you’ve hit a wall? Or are you still lying stunned on the ground, not sure just where that wall came from? I challenge you to get up and finish your race or climb that mountain. Bounce off the ice and skate on. Tear down your wall, go around it or climb over it. You will find strength you never knew you had … and will enjoy such a sense of accomplishment when you get to the other side.
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