“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” – Dean Karnazes
I thought the season was lost April 1. Two of our best pitchers out – one of them for the entire season. A 7-15 start to the season put the Texas Rangers into an 8.5 game hole to state & division rival Houston.
Despite a rally during May-June, the team was still six games out of the division lead on July 1. A brutal July slid the team to 8 games back on August 1 and a 1% chance to win the American League West. One month later that number had only grown to 4% chance of winning the division.
For a team that lost its ace (Yu Darvish) before the season even started, another starter (Derek Holland) just an inning into the year, and fielded a team with some castoffs from rival teams (Delino DeSheilds, Josh Hamilton), expectations were low. The team would put on a short streak, and then the next month, go ice cold.
But something happened. The team refused to quit.
Like a gold digger with a pickaxe, the Texas Rangers went to work, chipping away a small piece every day. The highs weren’t celebrated past that instant, the defeats were shaken off before the next morning’s sun rose. The continued to compete every day. And they believed.
And as of yesterday afternoon, the Texas Rangers stood alone atop the American League West as division champions. It took six months and 162 games, but the team that never gave up was rewarded.
So Rangers fan or not, why does this matter to you?
Because it’s a real life example of how perseverance can pay off. A bad week – heck, a bad year to this point – does not mean “it is over.” You can get out. You will get out.
A few years ago I made a large investment into a few events, thinking it would pay out in a huge way for my business. At the worst, I thought we’d breakeven or be slightly below breakeven and I could count it as a “marketing expense.” What I didn’t expect was getting kicked in between the legs and taking a major financial loss. I went from anticipating a big win and “tipping point” to putting myself and my business under a load of pressure by financially putting us into a hole. I remember the trip home from one of the events as one of my lowest professional moments, questioning whether I could even make this business work.
What transpired out of that was a change in strategy and me being forced to take my pickaxe out and swing, every day until I could get us out of the hole. Three years later we aren’t at perfect, but we’re in a much better position as we forge ahead.
No matter if life hands you a bad hand or a poor decision puts you into a difficult spot, things are not over. It may take a few days, weeks, or an entire year, but you CAN get out of it.
No matter how bad things get, you can find a way back out if you compete every day.
Never ever quit.