At around Christmas time, I read an autobiography by a man called Jonny Wilkinson. Until relatively recently, he played rugby for England and was widely considered one of the best English rugby players we’ve ever had – certainly the most popular and arguably one of the most famous rugby players in the world. He played a large part in England’s 2003 World Cup winning campaign and his dropkick in the video below was what ended the most dramatic and exciting exciting rugby match I’ve ever seen in victory for England:
(I still get goosebumps every time I see this!)
Since 2003, his career has been blighted by injury but that he hasn’t let that characterise him. What makes Jonny Wilkinson a living legend is his fanatical discipline. In his book, ‘Jonny‘, he talks a bit about what it took him to be so disciplined as well as the struggles and internal battles he fought. It’s a book I thoroughly recommend for anyone who wants to be inspired to do more than they think they are possibly capable of. Around the same time as I downloaded this book onto my Kindle, I also downloaded a game called ‘Line Runner’:
The object of this game is to either jump over or roll under the obstacles in your way to reach the maximum number of points possible. A simple, but fun game – right?
I was doing pretty well at it and to be honest was feeling quite satisfied. I’d hit a wall – 830 points. It was frustrating, but acceptable…until a very close friend of mine doubled my score. Yes, DOUBLED. I was livid!! I don’t usually let my competitive nature get the better of me but in light of the drubbing I received, there was no way I was going to give up until I at least passed the 830 point barrier. Having read Jonny Wilkinson’s book, admitting defeat was even less of an option. What would it say about my character if I did?!
That challenge started on New Year’s Eve…
I’ve played that game two or three times a week for nearly eight months and I don’t think I can adequately describe quite how irritating it has been to hit the same point over…and over…and over again. At one point, I nearly deleted the game. It was a stupid game anyway. The problem was, every time I went to delete it, I thought of Jonny Wilkinson. It was the principle. Who cares about some stupid game?! It didn’t (and still doesn’t) matter what my score was – I don’t want to be the kind of person that gives up when I can’t do something. Ever.
Last Sunday, I broke my top score; I’m now on 968. Yeah, I’m still way off the other high score, but I’m ok with that. I did it! I know that this is an unbelievably trivial matter, but it was another reminder of the reward of not giving up. Something so small taught me such a valuable lesson.
I have much bigger ‘Line Runner battles’ to face. There are ceilings that I just can’t pass in certain areas of my life – high scores that I can’t surpass just yet. One Line Runner battle I’m really struggling with at the moment is fitness. I just can’t seem to improve! But I’m not going to give up on that or any other challenge that I face. Do you have a line runner battle that you need to keep plowing on with? Whatever you do, don’t give up. I know that for me, winning the battle will be all the more satisfying having persevered. Whether you aspire to the meteoric heights of Jonny Wilkinson or you’re facing a much smaller battle, keep going. It’ll be worth it!