“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Whatever you do, keep moving forward. 

So maybe this isn’t the traditional message that many associate with Dr. King’s legacy, but it’s a universal teaching made evident through his actions. Dr. King had a way of conveying ideas that left others looking at the world with a new perspective – what better time to share some of his impactful and timeless messages.

While this quotation epitomizes the determined efforts of King, it is very much applicable to our athletic lives.

Dr. King’s role as a civil rights activist ignited a powerful movement and left influential change, however his life and work symbolize a quest that rests at the heart of us all –  refusing to be satisfied with the suboptimal.

Sometimes we won’t be able to run, but that doesn’t mean we can’t walk. At times we can barely walk, but we can still crawl.

No matter what, there is always a way to make progress.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Whether it be our social conditions or athletic performance – it is human nature to dream bigger and better. It’s this enthusiasm that ignites change.

But how often do we act on that? 

It’s not enough to dream. We all can dream. We must find a way to take the next step toward change.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle”

This message is two-part. 

Just as important through the process of change, is the balance between strength and persistence to move forward with compassion and understanding to modify

It’s not the continuous, violent pounding to our bodies that ignites improvements and progress – it’s the growth through change that follows finding a way no matter the struggle.  It’s no easy feat, but change is the result of determination and persistence. When pursued with enthusiasm, passion and love, it becomes the catalyst for change.

Moving forward means listening to our bodies and choosing to ‘walk’ when we cannot ‘run, yet challenging ourself to make that decision instead of stopping altogether. As we approach any kind of change – whether in ourselves or for social betterment – it’s with this enthusiasm and strong vision that allows us to move forward.

Do you choose to use your enthusiasm for improvement and change to propel you forward? How do you find ways to move forward in the face of struggle? 

Enjoy this Motivation piece? Join our COR Newsletter today!

Free Weekly Newsletter

Written by Amanda Presgraves. Amanda is a senior Kinesiology major, Division I student-athlete and entrepreneur at James Madison University. As an advocate of health and personal growth, she’s on a constant pursuit to optimize life and inspire others through her commitment to healthy living. If you can’t find Amanda bouncing between the classroom, pool, kitchen, or volunteering, you can find her online as she continues to lead and motivate others towards a happier and improved life at COR through her article contributions, newsletters and community motivation. (@amandapgraves, linkedin).