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  • Jered Stewart

From our President

"Just a little further, don’t stop now. Keep going, don’t quit. But it sure hurts! I just want a quick break, to catch my breath. I’ll be ok in a second…"

I love, and hate, working out. The love comes from knowing that it’s a good thing to do and it usually makes me feel better, at least when it’s over. I hope that exercise will help me live a long life so I can enjoy time with my wife, watching my children grow, and perhaps someday my grandchildren, too. The hate comes from that “in the moment” feeling when the heart rate has increased, breathing is labored, and my mind is telling me to stop. It’s painful in the moment. It’s not fun, but hopefully it’s worth it. It’s hard to love something when you feel ready to pass out from just…one...more…rep…

Exercise makes for a great example of real life. To “get in shape”, no matter what your goal is, takes a lot of hard work. It takes time, discipline, and determination. This could be true of exercise, personal finances, education, and relationships. They all take work, effort, commitment and time. And of course it takes a lot more time to get IN shape than it does to get OUT of shape. I could work out for 3 months and then it could all be gone in 2 weeks. Why isn’t that ratio equal? And of course it takes consistency and making it a part of your regular routine. It seems that most good things in life have these common elements. Nothing good comes easy.

As I related this to the world today I remember a quote I once heard. “The first generation creates the wealth, the second generation enjoys it, and the third generation destroys it.” I wonder now if our society is entering a “third generation mindset”. We have a great country, opportunities abound, and yet it seems at time an air of entitlement surfaces that leaves the impression that success should be handed to everyone, equally distributed, regardless of hard work, effort, or time. Certainly people have been disadvantaged and treated unfairly. But is the discipline and hard work needed to get “in shape” still there?

I am hopeful however, because I don’t watch the news. And what I do watch, I question whether to believe it or not. I still believe that the majority of people in our country are good people, hard-working, honest, and would help anyone out in need. I believe most people share the common ingredients needed to be successful and to stay in shape: self-discipline, determination, and hard work. Are we all willing to examine ourselves, to commit to working hard, and to staying in shape, even when we don’t feel like it?

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination…that we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

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