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Overcome Struggles Always


Vernon Lindsay Running 2024 OSA Wellness Half-marathon
 

Do you always overcome struggles? Life has daily challenges. From finding energy to get out of bed to maintaining your sanity after work, living is not easy.


The ability to outlast a struggle is a skill you can develop through strenuous physical workouts and difficult mental tasks.


If you're reading this post, you've made it through another week. Perhaps Sunday didn't start well, but you’re here now. That’s a blessing and a victory.

My week began with a physical and emotional test. With the help of courageous comrades, I achieved successful results.   


We arrived between 3:30 AM and 4:00 AM to compete in the Overcome Struggles Always Half-marathon. Everyone parked in the grass lot outside the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium. We fist-bumped and questioned our decision to register for a half-marathon on a national holiday.


Sleeping in and enjoying the day off from work would have been easier.


I drove the race course the previous night, but I didn’t predict how the roads and competition would twist my mind and body.

After the organizer's whistle, I started with a moderate pace. I passed the first roundabout and realized everyone remained behind me. Just when I eased into a comfortable stride, the footsteps of two runners pushed me into a different gear.


We traversed the dark, hilly roads, exchanging places for about two miles. Sometimes, I led, and at other moments, I followed. On one of the steeper ascents, I dialed into pain and called on every source of power.


Reflecting on injustices in the States angered and propelled me forward. I thought about how a police officer killed the Senior US Airman Roger Fortson. He didn’t have a chance to run.

When Fortson answered the police’s knock at his apartment door with a licensed firearm pointed at the ground, the officer shot him. Last Friday, Fortson’s family held a funeral and buried the 23-year-old Black man. The investigation continues.


The unresolved case and running gels fueled me to keep running.


Incidents similar to the Fortson case influenced my family’s move abroad. I had nightmares of a violent death at the hands of police officers when I lived in Chicago. The fears flooded my veins with adrenaline as I climbed another hill with two Black men on my heels.


I thought about my two Black boys who, with God's grace, will become men.

Why couldn't others see our struggles to survive? No, everyone is not an innocent victim or pious angel, but many try hard to provide, protect, love, and achieve purpose. In addition to individual challenges, systemic intersections of race, racism, class, gender, and age restrict opportunities.


Similar ideas pulled me over the tortuous terrain, past stray dogs, and away from traffic.


At mile 10, I reached Jonas Road. Throughout the isolated patch, I compared myself to Jonah from the Biblical parable. Instead of a whale, fatigue swallowed me.


Vernon Lindsay Running 2024 OSA Wellness Half-marathon

I had to resist the urge to quit. My watch clocked some of my slowest miles on Jonas Road.


"Always Overcome Struggle," I whispered during the sprint to the finish line and claimed the win of the 3rd Annual Overcome Struggles Always Half-marathon.


The event lived up to its name. Speeding motorists, stray dogs, more hills than you can count, and fierce competition made this race special. The gracious organizer recognized participants with a medal, certificate of completion, trophy, or another comparable gift.

 
 

Every athlete also received breakfast. If you’re in Antigua, register for next year's race. The O.S.A. Wellness Facebook page will keep you updated about the date.


The Run in Paradise Half-marathon is on Sunday. After Monday's race, I went straight to the gym to prepare. Will I win again?


To receive the results alongside some takeaways for your life, subscribe to this blog here.   For other ideas captured during and after long runs, buy one of my books and watch this video below:



 

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this is indeed inspiring as a IFBb professional bodybuilder i admire runners so much I can't even walk 13 miles much less run. truly inspiring words, hope you destroy RIP run in paradise 🙏

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Bodybuilding is no joke! I lift weights, but not like a bodybuilder. Thanks for the support!

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