Endurance is sustainability, our ability to perform tasks repeatedly over a certain amount of time. One finds endurance by working hard towards the goals. There is no shortcut to endurance but when you reach a certain level of it, well it makes things a lot easier on you.
Think back to your first steps with your prosthetic. Remember how exhausting it was just taking those first few steps? Now I imagine you’ve come a long way since then and that single step is much easier to accomplish than it was back then. This is endurance. Physical endurance. As we challenge our bodies to do more, push farther, we build up the endurance to do so. Physical endurance is a useful tool for any amputee but another form of endurance goes hand and hand with this and is likely even more important.
Mental endurance gives us the mindset that we can accomplish our goals, and that nothing will stand in our way. We need this foundation of mental endurance in order to begin the process of gaining the physical endurance that is required as an amputee. One simply can not have one without the other.
I have found that some of my greatest obstacles as an amputee weren’t physical, but mental. We need to allow ourselves to get out of our way, to be tested, pushed, and ultimately to grow. The first few steps of this, literally and figuratively, seem to require tremendous amount of endurance, but as we will see along our journey, it does in fact get easier. When it gets easier, THAT is endurance, both mental and physical. To always endure is to always grow, and to always grow is to always succeed.
Christopher Bowman February 2014