In Others’ Words: Tired

“The test of people is what they can do when they’re tired.”

~Winston Churchill, British politician & statesman

I was a runner-girl for a certain season of my life.

After years of hating the thought of running — and absolutely detesting the few times I attempted running for fun/exercise/because someone told me I should — I read an article that touted a running plan for non-runners.

That would be me.

Suffice to say, I learned to run. I won’t say I loved running. But I liked it — especially when I was finished with my route. My husband ran with me. He also was the timekeeper. I was all about time. So many minutes of warm up. So many minutes of “real” running. So many minutes of cool down. And then: done.

Every single run, I wanted to quit before we were done. Every. Single. Run.

Oftentimes, Rob would count out the time. Five minutes. Four minutes. Three. Two. One. Done.

During the season I was a runner-girl, I learned anew what I could do when I was tired.

I could finish.

I could push through the I-wanna-quit-and-sit-on-the-side-of-the-road exhaustion and do it.

Funny thing is, the only way I could learn how much I could do is to get to the point of thinking I couldn’t run . . . another . . . step.

In Your Words: What have you accomplished when you’ve been beyond tired? What kept you going? And how did you feel when you met your goal?

Photo by Mihapix/

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  1. Patti Mallett
    December 14, 2011, 5:57 am   /  Reply

    Ooh, I love that first quote, Beth. It’s truth hit my heart, hard. Sometimes, many times actually, I have gone on, beyond exhaustion. But there are other times when I have not persevered so successfully.

    NaNoWriMo always shows me what I am capable of: writing when I’m either sick or tired. Writing when I’m not sure where my story is headed. Writing when I’m convinced I suck at storytelling.

    Working through something tough always makes us feel better about ourselves and life in general! Thanks for that reminder!! I needed it!

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 9:00 am   /  Reply

      Truthfully, there have been time I’ve been tired and I’ve quit.
      That’s reality.
      But that doesn’t mean I’m a quitter. I can always rest … and try again.
      Tomorrow is a wonderful word, don’t you think?

  2. December 14, 2011, 6:46 am   /  Reply

    I ran a marathon once…and I think God might have sent me an angel.

    Because at mile 23 I stopped and started walking and I literally thought my legs would fall off. Then this older guy (he looked like a grandpa) with way too much energy came up alongside me and with lots of smiles and encouragement, got me running again. He told me, “Just three more miles! You can do it!” And so I started running again and I finished the race.

    Anyway….those three miles definitely involved focusing on one step at a time.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 8:59 am   /  Reply

      Ah, angels!
      Thank God (literally!) for the unexpected encouragers who come alongside us and help us finish when we’re exhausted!

  3. December 14, 2011, 7:09 am   /  Reply

    My kids have been addicted to Star Wars Monopoly lately so the minute I wake up (before caffeine has happified my body…yes, i just made that word up) I sit and play. This is what I can do when I’m tired–buy properties, read Sith cards, advance to Go and collect $200. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I like to push myself.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 8:58 am   /  Reply

      I like that word: “happified.”
      And it’s amazing what you can do for love.
      For family.


  4. Jeanne T
    December 14, 2011, 7:28 am   /  Reply

    I’ve never been a runner-girl. My feet always felt like weights held them to the ground, and my legs seemed to have cement in them. For me, part of being able to keep moving forward with something even when I’m tired is to have made up my mind I was going to accomplish it. When I determined that I would get it done, I was able to complete it.

    My latest thing was doing completing and exceeding my goal for my personal NaNo last month. I’ve found determining to do “it” in my mind, whatever “it” is, helps me to shoot toward the goal.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 8:57 am   /  Reply

      Knowing you as I do, Jeanne, I’ve seen your focus , your determination. You don’t ignore the hills ahead, but you do determine to get over ’em!

  5. December 14, 2011, 7:53 am   /  Reply

    Beth, I’ve had the same experience with running! I ran a 4-mile race last year and literally had to push myself to the end. I’d never run in my life before I trained for that race. And I didn’t really enjoy running itself, but more the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I finished.

    Last spring, I worked full time, worked on my Master’s full time, and freelanced for about 20 hours per week. I was T.I.R.E.D. But I made it through. The key is to focus on one day at a time. And sometimes…it’s one hour, one minute at a time.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 8:56 am   /  Reply

      Focus –so, so key. And having someone help me focus — that made all the difference for me!

  6. December 14, 2011, 8:12 am   /  Reply

    I feel the same way about running! I remember working up to those 3 miles. I’d made 2 and didn’t think I could do one more, but a whisper said, “One for the Father…one for the Son…one for the Holy Ghost…” And I finished. When I’m exhausted whether it’s fitness or writing or any project I’ve taken on, when I focus on who I’m doing it for–all for the glory of God, I can keep pushing!

    I love your snowy site! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s perfect next to the Enya Christmas station I’m listening to on Pandora!

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 8:55 am   /  Reply

      You prove again, it’s always good to have a running partner — or partners!

      And I’m a Pandora fan too!

  7. December 14, 2011, 8:18 am   /  Reply

    I used to be a runner-girl too. And I well know that “I can’t make one more step” feeling. But once I got my second wind and the endorphins kicked in, sometimes (not always) my feet would float across the ground. I love that feeling. I get the same feeling when I can’t write onemorewordwillthisdayneverend canIgetupfromthischairyet time of writing–when I push through and get my word count or finish a scene.

    Great post, Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 8:55 am   /  Reply

      Ah, the can’twriteonemoreday feeling.
      Familiar with that too.
      Pushing past that — yeah, that’s possible too!

  8. December 14, 2011, 8:31 am   /  Reply

    This is so true. I ran my first 5K this year. It was just as you described. I wanted to stop during every single run, but somehow I managed to train for and finish the 5K, and it felt great!

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 8:54 am   /  Reply

      Nice to know I’m not the only one who wanted to quit during my runs. Unfortunately, a car accident ended my runner-girl days. But I’m still exercising!

  9. December 14, 2011, 9:29 am   /  Reply

    When I’m plugging away at something and grow weary, I attempt to narrow my focus. Rather than looking at how much remains to be done, I look at what I’ve accomplished and break the rest of the task into small bites. One machine on the Curves circuit instead of the 18 remaining. One scene instead of the nine chapters yet to go in the story.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 10:13 am   /  Reply

      Excellent perspective, Keli.
      A great way to ensure that you finish something when you are tired!

  10. December 14, 2011, 10:36 am   /  Reply

    What a great quote today, Beth! So appropriate for the Christmas season!


    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 2:08 pm   /  Reply

      Yes, it is. And for so many other season.

  11. December 14, 2011, 11:24 am   /  Reply

    Love. This. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think the latest thing I accomplished while tired was probably getting out of bed this morning. Hehe…just kidding…kind of. But seriously…there’s all sorts of awesomeness to that feeling of accomplishing something when you were convinced you had nothing left to give energy-wise. Honestly, I’m pushing myself this month…so I’m hoping for that “yay” of accomplishment by the end of December…rather than the “boo” of fading out early. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love the encouragement I always find here, Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 2:09 pm   /  Reply

      So glad you were encouraged today … and that you accomplished the whole “getting out of bed” challenge.
      I so understand. I didn’t crawl into bed until 2:30 AM … so believe me, getting out at 6:30 was a HUGE challenge.

  12. December 14, 2011, 2:06 pm   /  Reply

    I totally get this, Beth. I’m in a perpetual state of tiredness with chasing kids and keeping up with writing and everything in between. The last couple years have gone by in a fog, but somehow I’ve managed to land an agent and meet deadlines. Who knows what this next year of fog will produce, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 2:09 pm   /  Reply

      Kudos, Sarah. You deserve some sort of medal for all you’ve accomplished in this season of your life! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. December 14, 2011, 4:05 pm   /  Reply

    This is truly great. I didn’t see it in my inbox today–may have overlooked (?)–but went looking for it and well worth it. I love the analogy.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 4:59 pm   /  Reply

      ๐Ÿ™‚ Always enjoy your input, Dee.

  14. December 14, 2011, 4:17 pm   /  Reply

    Do chores count? lol I’m usually tired when I do those. Heh. I don’t love running but I love music so listening to my iPod while I run has really helped.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 5:05 pm   /  Reply

      Believe me, I get how chores tire you out! And I think music is a wonderful way to get recharged!

  15. December 14, 2011, 7:07 pm   /  Reply

    These days it seems like each day finds me pushing through some task or another while fighting tiredness. Perhaps its the season, perhaps it’s poor time management. Hmmm…maybe I should re-visit this after the new year. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      December 14, 2011, 8:19 pm   /  Reply

      You’re a wise woman. Sometimes it’s best to know when to ponder and know when to put things aside until later.
      Tis the season.

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