2020 is well underway, and it’s been a tough year for all of us. From the COVID-19 pandemic to hurricanes to murder hornets, and that’s before we get into our own personal challenges that we’ve faced this year. It hasn’t been easy. The good news? It won’t last forever. There are sunnier days ahead. The trick is having the endurance to get there.

So, how can we keep motivated when the odds seem stacked against us? Let’s take inspiration from some of the world’s greatest athletes that know a thing or two about going the distance. Here are the top 5 endurance quotes by athletes to get you through trying times.

Athletes quotes on endurance to inspire you

From swimming coaches to Baseball legends, and everything in between, here are the top 5 quotes from world-class athletes that will inspire you to survive and thrive through this pandemic.

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. – Babe Ruth

The American baseball legend probably could never have imagined 2020 when he uttered this famous phrase, but it is one to take note of. Ruth ended his glittering 22-year (yes, 22 years) baseball career with 714 home runs. Showing he knew a little something about going the distance.

endurance athletes pandemic baseball

So what was his trick? Whenever something wasn’t going his way, he just didn’t give up. Instead, he kept going working through the hard times and aiming for a better future.

Right now, that may seem difficult as we live through lockdowns and social distancing. But the other path is forward. Though these are challenges today, if we make the right choices, then 2020 will soon be a distant memory, and we will make it to the other side unbeaten.

The hardest skill to acquire in this sport is the one where you compete all out, give it all you have, and you are still getting beat no matter what you do. When you have the killer instinct to fight through that, it is very special. – Eddie Reese

Olympic swimming coach, Eddie Reese, knows a thing or two about inspiration. In his glittering career, he has had the honor of being the man behind some of the best Olympic swimmers out there.


So how do champs become champs? It’s not winning all the time, that’s for sure. Instead, Reese alludes to something much more valuable – endurance.

Being persistent enough to not only endure losses but to thrive from them, makes us stronger and a much more dangerous competitor. Now, let’s take that lesson and apply it to our current situation.

In these challenging times, when it feels things can’t get worse (they can), don’t look at the failures. Instead, accept things as they are and look to how this makes you stronger. Perhaps it’s a new appreciation of family, time to dedicate to something you always wanted to do, or the strength to learn a new skill.

A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. – Wayne Gretzky

Right now might not be all that great, we feel you. But if you fail to see beyond the present moment, you might miss what’s right in front of you. During this period of life disruption, it might be difficult to think ahead, to see that one day, this will all just be a distant memory. It will be.

endurance athletes pandemic hockey puck and stick

It’s all too easy to focus on the restrictions on what you can’t do. Instead, turn that around. Look at how you can use this time to work towards a goal. See where the puck (aka your life) is going to be in the future and plot the best route there. Sure, it’s bumpy, but you can do it. Visualization is one handy technique that can help you see beyond those four walls and into your future.

With four Stanley Cups under his belt, these words of wisdom by ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky should be trusted.

 It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe. – Muhammad Ali

If you’re like us, you’re finding that 2020 is one little problem after another. Combine this with the monster that is coronavirus, and it might seem insurmountable (it’s not!). Like the boxing legend, Muhammad Ali, said, “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

endurance athletes pandemic boxing gloves

Now, think of coronavirus as the mountain. This is our main challenge to overcome. Our opponent. Our mountain. And we will beat it. But everything else – the lockdowns, the quarantines, the isolation, the disruption to life, and our own personal challenges – are the pebbles.

As we deal with coronavirus, we must take account of the ‘pebbles’ and take them out of our shoes. So, what does this mean? Taking care of the pebbles means taking care of your physical and mental health to better cope with more considerable challenges. This might mean changing how you think about issues or some stress relief to get you through. What’s important isn’t what you do, it’s that you find a solution that works for you.

 “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion’.” – Muhammad Ali

Yes, it’s another Muhammad Ali quote, we just couldn’t help ourselves from returning to these words of inspiration. Before we tell you why, let’s try a quick exercise.

Find a safe spot; somewhere you can be alone for 10 minutes. Now, make yourself comfortable by sitting or lying down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, hold, and release. Focus on your breathing for 1-2 minutes until you can feel yourself becoming calmer, more in control. Now, imagine yourself a year from now. What do you see? Happiness? Alive? Are you succeeding in your goals? That’s right! The future is brighter.

Don’t quit right now. Although the challenges that come with living through a pandemic may see huge, almost like an unclimbable mountain, one day in the future, you will look back and realize how these experiences shaped you and made you into the champion you are today.

Written by Verv Experts
We are an integral part of the Verv team, the articles we create are the result of a collaborative effort. We are happy to share our experience and discoveries...
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