Quit? What For?


On Aug. 6, 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel. Her time was 14 hours and 31 minutes, breaking Charles Toff’s record by two hours and 23 minutes.

Swimming the English Channel is a truly difficult undertaking. The channel is only 20 miles wide at the point most swimmers tackle it. However, when you combine the tide and the little waves that batter and bruise a swimmer, throw in the rain, cold and darkness, and add the jellyfish with those long, stinging tentacles, you really have a formidable challenge.

There are lessons from Gertrude (Trudy) Ederle that need to be mentioned. In the field of human endeavor, most of the time those on the sidelines admonish the participant to hang in there and see it through. In Trudy’s case, however, those accompanying her — her father, her sister, newspapermen, photographers and her trainer, William Burgess, an Englishman who had finally conquered the channel after 18 previous failures — were encouraging her to throw in the towel.

She was frozen, exhausted, battered and sickened by the 11 hours of effort, but she never complained or showed any signs of faltering. When Trudy was three miles from her goal, the channel was buffeting her furiously, and at that point, her father and trainer called on her to quit, lest she be injured. Soon after came her classic reply to echo around the world: “Quit? What for?” Trudy staggered ashore and into the history books.

There’s an old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough keep going.” Trudy teaches all of us quite a lesson with her accomplishment. If we learn from it, then I will see you at the top!

To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar’s free email newsletter through [email protected]

Trending Today

Related Articles

1

America’s Enemies Are Colorblind

Investigators cannot yet tell whether the bombings at the Boston marathon, which so far have killed three and wounded more

1

Debates Threaten Hillary Candidacy

The Democratic Party debates among presidential candidates — now slated to start in May or June of 2015 — pose

12

Three Perilous Previews of Obamacare

Because of the nation’s and Supreme Court’s war over Obamacare this past week, I’m deferring until next week Part 2