When You Have Nothing Left to Give

When You Have Nothing Left to Give

My husband is a high school band teacher, and over the holidays last month he spent some time getting organized for school. He loves reading books about becoming your best self, leadership and changing your mindset. These books have quickly translated over to his lessons for his students, which I think is awesome. There is nothing high school kids need more than some motivation and self love.

When he prepares for his lessons, he often finds himself on a motivational video binge. He watches videos on YouTube for hours finding the most inspirational videos, ones that he can incorporate into his music lesson or leadership class. Last week while he was in the depths of one of one of his binges, I found myself watching a few videos with him and one of them in particular really stuck with me.

This video is evidently a scene from a famous movie (Facing the Giants), but a movie that I have never seen. The video takes place at a football practice, but shows a scene that is so incredibly relevant to every aspect of our lives. My husband planned to use this video for a marching band segment, and I immediately thought of it in relation to running. It’s pretty cool how one scene can impact us in so many different ways.

The video we watched is only a few minutes long, but portrays such an important message to us all. You can watch it here!

The message of the scene is very clear: you always have more left to give than you think.

In the video, (a scene from Facing the Giants) a football coach is challenging one of his mentally weaker players to complete something that is very difficult for him. The coach wants Brock (the player) to crawl 50 yards with another man on his back. Now this would be a rather challenging physical activity for someone of Brock’s weight and height in itself, let alone with 160 pounds on his back. Brock agrees, but the coach asks him to do it blindfolded. The goal of this is for Brock to crawl until he has absolutely nothing left to give, giving it his absolute best – hopefully reaching the 50 yard line.

Spoiler alert: Brock crawls across the entire field. 100 yards.

This video really struck a chord with me and reminded me why I love distance running. Why I fell in love with running to begin with. Running is a sport that can be anything we want it to be. It means something different to every single person. For some, it’s a way to stay healthy by running 3 miles every other day. For others, it’s a competition, running a race to get 1st place. Still for others, it’s a constant challenge. Striving to beat our previous distance records or paces, always aiming to improve.

When You Have Nothing Left to Give

Running has allowed me to accomplish goals that I never even thought were possible. 10 years ago the thought of running double digit mileage would have seemed impossible. I would have laughed at the prospect of wanting to do something of the sort, let alone actually being able to. Who would have known that 5 years later I would be able to run 26 miles for fun.

Running has a way of pushing us to our limits, and challenging us to go past them, until we have nothing left to give. Every long run is an intense mental battle. At some point during the run, I feel like I need to give up. My body and mind feel so defeated, I want to crumple on the sidewalk, and truly believe that I can’t run any further. But something in the depths of my mind tells me to keep going, every time.

When I finish those 20 milers I feel like I have absolutely nothing left to give. I can’t run another step, my body is spent, and I sure am glad that was the longest run of the training season. But then 3 weeks down the road my body conquer’s 26 miles. When I cross that finish line I know that I have given it my all, and feel completely justified in being exhausted. But somehow I walk another 3 miles to find my family and get back to the hotel room.

There are times in life where we feel like we have given absolutely everything. We are emotionally spent, our bodies are incapable of moving another inch, or we feel like we have failed and will never recover.

But some little voice, deep in the back of our mind, tells us that if we just took one more step, we might make it. If we just kept going a little longer, we might discover something great.

I heard somewhere that our mind tells us we are done way before our body actually is, and throughout the years have found it to be incredibly true. Your mind tells you that you have nothing left to give as a means of protection. What happens next is a little scary, and it would probably be safer just to quit now.

But those times when you don’t quit, when you push yourself into the depths of the unknown, that’s when you discover exactly what you’re made of.

You’ve got so much more than you think you do. More strength. Willpower. Perseverance.

Give it your all one time – truly everything you have – until you can’t take another second of it. That’s when you’ll discover your best.

Nothing Left to Give


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