A good dose of endurance is helpful in any life. Photo by Alessio Soggetti on Unsplash

Life is as much a matter or endurance, as it is of problem solving. Sometimes just hanging on in there is a thing in itself, as valuable as speed or deftness. Friendship, work, parenthood, and many forms of achievement… all of these are significantly dependent on endurance.

Endurance is the act of keeping going under adverse or difficult conditions. An endurance athlete is one who builds their body and mind so that they can keep going for unusually great lengths of time. Different muscle fibres are necessary, different body weights, and different metabolic balances.

Hanging in there isn’t particularly fashionable. It doesn’t lend itself to film scripts, because endurance isn’t very entertaining. But psychologically, endurance can be regarded as a core skill, because it gives the psyche a foundation of steadiness and structure. It consolidates relationships, and provides a sense of safety.

Endurance involves not crumbling when we feel like crumbling. It involves keeping an eye on the main goal, and not being too distracted by current feelings. It involves returning to an important task again and again, and not being too fickle or wayward.

Just for today, we can think of all the ways in which endurance is good. We can think of the times our parents or carers stood with us when we made it difficult for them to do so. We can think of the times that friends and partners have continued to be supportive, even when it must have been so hard for them. We can be grateful that other humans have worked hard to retain continuity in the buildings, roads and systems that surround us.

We can watch trees, enduring year after year of wind and weather. We can see them stand still despite their broken branches and their scarred trunks. We can see animals and plants brave the spring, despite the ravages of winter, and the hardship of predation.

We can resolve to be like the animals, the plants and the trees. We can resolve to follow the example of good carers we have known, who have stood beside us as we grew. When we feel tired and unable to continue, we can find a little more energy, a little more steadiness, and a little more resolve.