Pain is a certainty in this life. It is guaranteed to find us. At times it may feel like grief has sought us out. When we face this type of suffering, our instinct is to run from it. But no matter how we try, we simply cannot outrun it.
This book is about pain and loss and heartache. It’s about being at the end of yourself — losing faith in anything and everything, and then finding hope in the strangest of places. Finding redemption where it seems least likely that God would ever show up. It’s about how when you think all is lost, it isn’t. How when it seems like there is no reason to take one more step forward, there is. It’s about realizing our instinct to run when life gets tough. And it’s about wanting God to make life easier, and instead he gives you the ability to endure.
Thanks for letting me share my story with you.
Praise for THE ABILITY TO ENDURE
“Heartbreaking. Encouraging. Passionate. Look out. This book may bring you to tears. It may inspire you to run a marathon or change the world. Michael Chitwood has that effect on people, and this book will show you why.”
RICHARD STEARNS - president of World Vision US and author of Unfinished and The Hole in Our Gospel
“Michael Chitwood is one of the first people I met when I showed up at my first Team World Vision meeting in 2010, scared out of my mind. And his face was one of the first I saw when I showed up to the TWV tent the morning of the marathon, still scared out of my mind. I knew he was a great coach, a passionate advocate for people in need, a serious runner. But I didn’t know the heart of what brought him to running and to Team World Vision. This story was a gift to me, and a must-read for anyone who believes that healing sometimes comes in unexpected places.”
SHAUNA NIEQUIST - author of Bread & Wine and Savor, www.shaunaniequist.com
“A powerful story of loss, love, hope and inspiration. The Ability to Endure captures your heart from the very first page, rallies your inner strength, and teaches you how to thrive through life’s greatest challenges.”
JENNY HADFIELD - Runner’s World Columnist and Author of Marathoning for Mortals
“The Ability to Endure is proof that putting one foot in from the other can make the world a better place for the less fortunate. Michael’s transformation from a defensive linemen to ultra-runner with a mission to change the world will inspire thousands.”
BART YASSO – Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World Magazine and author of My Life On The Run
“The Ability to Endure is a kick to the soul, very much need in our present world. You won’t put it down, It’s a must read.”
PRINCESS KASUNE ZULU -Founder of Fountain of Life and author of “Warrior Princess”
" No matter where you are in your race of life you will undoubtedly find inspiration in Michael’s story and find the strength to endure through life's tough stretches."
RYAN HALL - Two-time US Olympic Marathoner, US Half Marathon Record Holder,
“I had a dream; to win the Olympic Games. That dream became reality because I had a coach. Someone who taught me the right techniques to elevate my performance. Someone who saw my potential and helped me unlock it. Someone who showed me the light when things got dark. Someone who knew about going through struggle and coming out a stronger person. I have another dream; to be a great person. In that pursuit, Michael Chitwood has been one of my best coaches.”
ASHTON EATON - World’s Greatest Athlete, World Record Holder – Decathlon, US Olympic Gold Medalist
"At the heart of this book is an invitation - to choose how you let your circumstances affect you and the call God has put on your life. Michael Chitwood shares how he has pushed past great pain and disappointment to continue to dream and live a life of immense influence. In doing so, he will inspire you to find what waits for you on the other side of the painful experiences in your life if you will trust God to lead you through it."
SARA HALL - Two-time US Track and Field world team member, US national cross country champion
“Hilarious. Devastating. Inspiring. Hopeful. Every so often a book comes along that jolts you into a better version of yourself; that moment is right now.”
JON PEACOCK - Lead Pastor – Mission Church
"The Ability to Endure is a real story of putting faith into action and inspired me to do the same. The redemption and heartbreak in this story shows how being a positive force in the world after dealing with loss is no easy task but the rewards are lasting."
ALAN WEBB - American Record Holder in the mile, US Olympian, professional triathlete
“Michael Chitwood’s book is a moving read shedding light into both pain and hope. He has courageously taken a route few dare take -of being vulnerable - sharing his pain and struggles. Through the book he shares how we can overcome the darkest of pains in our lives. Michael has inspired me and many people through his daring spirit, to dare the seemingly ‘impossible’.”
JUSTUS KOECH - World Vision Kenya, Donor Liaison
“The losses Michael has experienced in his life have been so repetitive and crushing, it makes one shudder. Yet time and time again he has gotten back up, stronger in spirit, and resolve, leading and motivating others in his mission to help the poor. Read this book and it it will change your life, just as Michael's friendship has mine.
DR. ANDY BALDWIN - US Navy Doctor, Humanitarian, and former star of ABC’s “The Bachelor”.
“Michael loves encouraging people to do something that really matters. In The Ability to Endure, we are invited into the story that fashioned him into the man who lives what he believes. This story is raw and honest, yet buoyant and full of hope. Michael has been my friend for almost a decade. We’ve been telling him to write a book all that time. Read it and you’ll find out why.”
DARREN WHITEHEAD - Pastor, Church of the City – Nashville, TN and author of Rumors of God: Experience The Kind Of Life You’ve Only Heard About
“Michael’s candid journey through success, loss, personal discovery, and faith moved me to my core. The words of his journey spoke to my soul reminding me to cherish the simple joys in life and relish in the miracles that reveal themselves through faith.”
LOPEZ LOMONG – Two-time US Olympian and author of “Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games”
“This compelling story is a narrative of God’s grace, running through pain, suffering and triumph. It helps us finish with hope. The Ability to Endure will inspire you to run your life on purpose!”
BOB BOUWER - Sr. Pastor, Faith Church