Life Lesson #12 From Camel’s Hump


Following on last week’s Lesson #13,


When the going gets tough, each step is of equal importance, 


I bring you this week’s Lesson #12: 

Sometimes, perseverance is more important than having fun. 



4 IMG_1080
photo by Dave Ackerman



My culture brings us many mottos for these occasions: one step after another, one step at a time, taking the next right step — variations on the same motto, is more like it.


But these mottos weren’t going through my head last month as I trekked down Camel’s Hump, alone. What was running that loop, was that I wasn’t having fun and that was OK.


Instead of fun, what I felt (and what helped to blur feelings of pain and exhaustion) was an even stronger sense of dedication, perseverance, and commitment to the task at hand. These not only propelled me, they brought an unexpected sense of peace.


Those same qualities — dedication, perseverance, and commitment — were ones I’d consistently felt as a Peace Corps volunteer and at a few other times in my life. A few. With them, always came a sense of connection to some larger purpose. Camel’s Hump gave me that again. And for that I’m most grateful.


How about you?  How often do you feel that sense of dedication to a task at hand, that all-consuming focus that what you are about is the most important thing you could be doing at that moment?  



14 Responses

  1. marianbeaman
    | Reply

    Here’s an oblique answer to your question from a quote I saw online yesterday. “A professional is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Anthoney J. Andersen. I see this idea threaded through your Camel’s Hump challenge.

    Even though I’m not a quitter doesn’t mean I don’t feel like quitting some times. Perseverance and commitment, my mantra too, Janet. Your life lesson isn’t a once and your done deal. It must be learned over and over. Anyway, that’s my two cents for what it’s worth, Janet.

    • Merril Smith
      | Reply

      I love Marian’s reply! And–I see that I was correct when I said in my blog challenge that she has a quote for every occasion. 🙂

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thank you, Marian. “… an amateur who doesn’t quit.” I love it.

  2. Merril Smith
    | Reply

    Well, there was the 90 minute spin class I did last week!

    I suppose to finish any book I’ve ever written, there comes a point when it is just “dedication, perseverance, and commitment” that gets me through. Sometimes I’m pretty grumpy about it though!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Your spin class reference made me smile, Merril. I’ve taken only one in my life. That about
      says it all.

      But I do know about those “last few miles” in the writing process. Good analogy.

  3. Susan Jackson
    | Reply

    In 2010 for the 65th anniversary I hiked 16 miles on the Battle of the Bulge (Bastogne). It started wet snowing just after we started, it was cold, wet, muddy and totally miserable!! The last mile I just kept motoring on up every hill hoping it was the last. It gave us a feeling for what the GI’s went thru and we had pizza, a hot shower and warm bed afterwards–they were stuck in the cold and wet for days :(. So sad

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Wow, Susan. What a challenge! Did you know the conditions would mirror that of the GIs before you set out or was that just a “bonus?” But I imagine the comaraderie you feel on the way is something quite special.

  4. Joan Z. Rough
    | Reply

    The work of writing my book was one of those occasions for me. Anything that is difficult, boring, or painful needs dedication, perseverance and commitment so that it can be done. For many it’s simply living from one day to the next.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Yes, I would have said this too, before my hike. What I was so struck by was the surprising sense of serenity that overcame me as I trudged along. I wasn’t bored, though difficult and painful would fit. I didn’t feel at all irritated or worried or even concerned. There was this acceptance of what is and with that acceptance, a deep sense of serenity. I have another hike coming up this Saturday. Shall we see if it holds true again? Thanks as always, Joan.

  5. […] #12      Sometimes, perseverence is more important than having fun.  […]

  6. […]    When the going gets tough, each step is of equal importance.  #12    Sometimes, perseverance is more important than having fun. #11    Sometimes, there is no single, absolutely right place to put your foot. #10   […]

  7. […]    When the going gets tough, each step is of equal importance.  #12    Sometimes, perseverance is more important than having fun. #11     Sometimes, there is no single, absolutely right place to put your foot. #10   […]

  8. […] #12    Sometimes, perseverence is more important than having fun. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a blog you'd like to share? I use CommentLuv Click here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.