Overcome life's obstacles, take charge of yourself

  • Published
  • By Master Lawanna Viers
  • 301st Maintenance Operations Flight
Being in the military, we, as Airman, have faced some sort of obstacle course, whether in basic training, or just having fun. 

An obstacle course is a series of challenging physical obstacles an individual or team must navigate usually while being timed. They are used as a way to familiarize recruits with the kind of tactical movement they will use in combat, as well as physical training, building teamwork, and evaluating problem solving skills. 

Typical courses involve obstacles the participants must run, crawl, balance, climb over, crawl under, hang, jump which challenge endurance and mental alertness, etc. Puddles of muddy water, ropes, nets, and "no touch" restrictions are often used to make the course more difficult. 

Many may see life in a similar manner; you are going along minding your own business and bam, out of nowhere, a high wall of debt appears, maybe an unexpected or forgotten debt. This wall will not go away by merely wishing, hoping or ignoring it away; you must do something to overcome this challenge. The best way is to just pay the debt, if that's not feasible at this time, pay on it! Don't just ignore it! Remember, everyone faces difficulties -- its how you handle those difficult times that makes you a winner. Your seemingly insurmountable feat may not be a financial hardship; it may be a relation, either on the job or at home. 

If you are trying facing a relationship that feels more like touching barbed wire, go to someone who can help. Talk to your first sergeant, commander, chaplain or stop by Family Support; they have some great contacts if you want to deal with the issue more privately. No matter what, there is always help. Don't be embarrassed, ashamed or nervous about asking for help. Times of adversity are what we train for. 

Is your mud puddle the physical fitness test? Well, rest assured, there's a solution for overcoming that also. The solution might be to ask the physical fitness monitor in your unit if they wouldn't mind running with you, coaching you back to good health, or getting a friend to encourage you during workouts or give friendly remind to eat a little healthier. For me, it was joining the local gym and running or walking at least five times per week. 

Our muscles have memory, if we remind them that they work for us, and not the other way around ... I'm sure that when it's time to put them to the test, your muscles will do their job. I challenge you, fellow Airmen, to do all you can. It is so easy to give up, and yet, it takes great courage to keep moving, especially when it feels like you are standing in quicksand. What really matters is that you do your very best at all times, so you'll pass your test. 

Tough times never last, but tough people do. -- Robert H. Schuller 

Encourage others when you see them striving to be better or even the best; challenge them to believe in themselves even when all hope seems lost. Believe me, the encouragement means much more than you can imagine. Stop looking through the eyes of defeat and see yourself as a conqueror. Remember that same person inside of you who wouldn't back down from a challenge, the one who looked forward to the next race -- game is still in you. 

Release your fears and go for it. Yes, you may be older, but are also stronger than you have ever been. Stop allowing problems to immobilize you, press forward and you will overcome; you can do it if you think you can. 

In this life, there may be times you have to crawl, when your strength begins to fade, hang on when help seems a little slow to your rescue, jump when the treacherous waters start rising, or balance when your work load and family both vie for your attention -- just don't quit. 

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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