“Persistence wins all races.”
Tour de France veteran
“Crack, refocus. Crack, refocus.” That’s how seasoned Tour de France rider Chris Horner characterized what it’s like in the “peleton” — the main field of riders — on a hard day in the saddle. As he described it, riders are constantly fighting, not just a tough physical battle, but a mental one, as they struggle to stay positive and motivated for long hours in the saddle on rides that may stretch more than a hundred miles.
Today, Chris’s words came back to me when another rider nursing a lot of injuries fell to the back of the race and had to soldier on alone without help from his team. One week, he was a top contender in the Tour and the next, he was battling just to stay in it. In the end, he showed the heart of a champion and found the courage to beat the time cutoff, winning the chance to ride on toward Paris.
Another Tour pro commented that this is the name of the game: Every rider has good days and bad ones. It’s how you handle being on your own — the moments when you’re forced to dig deep inside yourself — and find the will and persistence to fight on that really matter. Once you’ve come through the fire and know you can survive, that knowledge gives you confidence in your own ability that nothing can ever take away from you. If you fight back, if you show persistence and grit, if you crack and then refocus, then you know you can do it again and again.
As writers, we all endure our own tough days in the proverbial saddle — days when we get discouraged, when we crack and lose our rhythm, when we find ourselves rejected — or dejected. On days like these, we, too, need to dig deep and find the heart of the champion inside us. It’s there, waiting. Write on!