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Lean Forward

Apr 23

Posted by: ACHA
4/23/2014 12:08 PM  RssIcon

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

I find little life lessons everywhere. After my last surgery I made the decision to change careers and go back to school. One of the classes I’m taking is an office keyboarding class. The teacher for that class is a runner and about two-thirds of the way through the semester she talked to us about what the rest of the semester would hold.

My teacher was telling us that this was the time in the semester when people just quit, and that instead of quitting we needed to just lean forward. I’d never heard that term before. She was talking about finishing the semester strong after coming back from spring break. She said it was a running metaphor that she used every semester. When you’re nearing the end of a race and you’re tired, you don’t give up—you lean forward and run harder.

As she kept explaining her analogy I kept thinking about how often, when I had congestive heart failure, I thought to myself, “just keep going.” How great it would have been to have that little nugget of wisdom in my repertoire? Just lean forward.

How often have you had a bad day? How often did you feel like things weren’t getting better? How often have you been exhausted and felt like giving up? Don’t… just lean forward.

Jon Ritchings, Jr., is a 40-year-old father who was born with pulmonary atresia and hypoplastic right heart syndrome. Although he has made a career in retail, he prefers to be outdoors kayaking and taking photos. Jon likes to draw inspiration from quotes and one of his current favorites is from Lao Tzu: “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”

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