At the November gathering of the Grand Connect, Virginia Tech track coach Dave Cianelli led an interactive and thought-provoking session on the topic of endurance. The discussion was based on carefully chosen scripture verses which prompted heartfelt questions and honest reflection by each of our Grand Connect attenders.
Dave began his talk with the definition of the word “endurance”. He described endurance as the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process (or situation) without giving way. One definition described endurance as the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity. Endurance is the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress or other adverse conditions.
Dave referenced several Bible verses (Hebrews 12:1-3, Romans 5:3-4, James 1:12-18) and related these words to the grueling training programs of his long distance athletes. All of his athletes must be diligent and forthright in their preparation for competition. They must be prepared to make wise and difficult choices to successfully keep their eye on the prize as they train and live each day.
Division 1 cross country and track and field student athletes at a university the size of VT face many temptations and distractions (as we all do) every single day. These individuals have to make a choice to live differently than a huge percentage of the rest of the VT student population if they want to be successful in their sport, and in life. They face adversity and hardship at each practice and race that they participate in. They have to be able to push through pain, to push through disappointment and to stay focused.
We too must look at adversity and hardship as a training program to prepare us to run our race toward the finish line. It is through our day to day choices and decisions that we train our minds and bodies to stay focused on Jesus, to turn our hearts toward God, and to endure all that we face so that we can finish this race without growing weary. We must boldly proclaim our love for the Lord as we run with joy and spread the Good News of Christ.