Just Don’t Quit

dont quit

I stumbled across this quote one morning looking for something on not quitting for one of my social media posts.

I liked it because it wasn’t one of the zillion cliché quotes about not quitting or giving up… and well.. it was honestly quirky enough to completely suit me.

I recently asked for thoughts from people on why they believe people quit what they start.  Why do some hold on to what they set out to do with all they have, working hard and refusing to give up and others, with the slightest discomfort, lack of reward, or immediate gain, throw in the towel and quit ?

I had my own opinions/thoughts on it, but wanted some feedback.

I got responses like “it’s a part of our individual personality”, ” it’s how we were raised”, “it’s something learned”,  to my favorite, “it’s pure stubbornness and a refusal to give in”. I think that’s my favorite ’cause it’s how I’m wired 😉

But I was also raised to finish what I started. I was raised by strong women who didn’t give in when things got rough.

As a grown woman who has lived a lot of life I realize I have that same grit and strength I was exposed to growing up.

It serves me well.

But then there is also who I am as a person. By nature, strong willed and a wee bit stubborn.

I believe all those traits meld together to push me to take on things that make me feel like they can eat my lunch… like my fast upcoming duathlon.

I did my most likely, next to last training session on the course this morning.

It was grey, cold, windy, and some on and off again misty stuff thrown in for good measure. Rain mingled with my sweat is always an interesting feeling.

The wind seemed to delight in coming from angles that weren’t helpful crawling big hills on the bike. It was my suckiest time ever since I started. On a good side, I also did my fastest 5k time, dropping it again from last week.

The good and bad.  I mean I was out there doing it so it’s all a win, right? But that quitting quote rolled through my head.

Not mind you, that I was pondering quitting. Not when I’ve come so far and worked so hard.

Not a fat chance.

But let’s look at a few reasons why people might throw in the towel, or you know, quit.

~ People usually give up or quit when the going gets rough or it takes to long. They fail a few times, don’t know that the struggle is part of the game and walk away from it.  Obstacles are a part of pursuing our goals or dreams and as we get more proficient in what we are doing the obstacles get a bit easier to get over.

~ There’s a lack of ownership. Is it your goal? Your dream? It’s difficult to stay motivated if it’s not yours. You must buy into your goals and dreams. Own them. It totally changes the game. Once you own them, you can begin the steps of practicing to get where you are going.

~ Not willing to put in time required. Training for a duathlon, I knew what I was up against if I was going to do it. I knew the time and training that would be required to get me to the starting line. If you decide to set a lofty goal for yourself, understand what the time investment will be. Reaching our goals takes hard work and a lot of practice. If we don’t excel in something it will take both of those to get there.  Being a multi sport athlete is certainly nothing that was in my back round or skill level. It has required hard work and a lot of practice.

~ Limit distractions that get in your way. So many things clamor for our attention now days and if you let them get in your way you may find yourself getting side tracked from what you are pursuing. You may have to set things aside to make time for your goals and to ensure you don’t quit.

~ People often quit when there is insufficient reward or as I refer to it, instant gratification.  They feel like they’ve invested a little time of a few weeks or a month and expect results. Everything from weight loss, to a new career or hobby or getting fit. It takes time. I didn’t wake up one morning and go run a marathon. I didn’t just sign up for a duathlon and go do it. Little things at a time have built on the other leading me to bigger successes. This goes for anyone. If you want to do more, you’ve gotta invest the time and energy and not expect instant results.

~  A lack of belief in themselves. Simply put, you’ve gotta believe you can do it or you’re out of the game from the beginning.  The first time I realized I was really committing to running a full marathon the thought danced through  my head…. ” That’s 26.2 miles. That’s so long. How will I do it?”  I immediately stomped those thoughts down, never let them back in, an proceeded to not only train for my marathon but go on and do more too.  Those thoughts had no place in my head if I was going to be successful.

~ And a final thought that I think is perhaps the biggest reason to why people quit or give up or whatever you wanna call it.

They simply lack the discipline to see their goal or idea through to the end.

They can’t get themselves to see the end result of what they are pursuing.  They haven’t developed the habits required to work on the days they not only feel like it, but more importantly, days they don’t feel like it.  Trust me, heading out into a cold, wet morning to train isn’t necessarily my idea of a great time. Staying in warm and drinking coffee is definitely more appealing but it’s on those days I have to rely on my discipline to get me out the door and get the job done.

There has to be a willingness to take on the good days and the bad days to get where you’re going.  You have to push forward no matter what the challenges are that come at you IF you are determined and stubborn to reach your goals or dreams that you have.

If you struggle with quitting when things get rough or don’t produce fast enough results, consider some of these points and determine where you can change things in yourself.

With some intentional choices and a willingness to fail and make mistakes, along with some stubbornness and purposeful dedication, you will be able to achieve your goals.

Do you struggle with following through? Have you before but have you overcome obstacles to get to your goals? What did you find worked best for you?

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Thankfulness And The Gift Of Exercise

exercise

I’m writing late tonight. Actually, I wasn’t going to write at all today and give my mind a rest.

But I got to thinking… always… thinking….

Thinking about how blessed and fortunate I am on so many levels in so many ways. A family who loves me warts and all, an amazing, supportive, encouraging husband who loves me and my free spirit, beautiful kids, grandkids, and friends. I have all of my needs more than adequately met, and I’m healthy.

It’s hard to not feel thankful with so many blessings.

I thought about this out on the road this morning…  thankfulness.

Today was my run/cycle/run day. It was a warm humid morning … my reminder that I will be training in it daily pretty soon…

I’ve mentioned in previous posts I have my eyes set on tackling a duathlon so acclimating my body to the change of movement from running to cycling will take some training. It’s been about a month now and its getting easier on the second run.

Anyway, back to being thankful…

it was on my last, final leg of my workout those thoughts crossed my mind. I had about a mile left on my  5k, sweating was running into my eyes so I had to pull my glasses off to clear them to see and I was battling some nausea which came out of nowhere ( maybe it was the lone banana bouncing around in my stomach 😛 )

I was hungry. I was beyond sweaty. The sun was beating down on me.  My legs were letting me know they had been moving for close to 2 hours….

And I realized (again) how thankful I am that I can do what I do. What a glorious, beautiful privilege.

I have a strong healthy body that can exercise.

What an amazing gift.

I can run.. and move fairly fast for a middle aged grandmother 😉

I can ride a bike like a demon and I can lift heavy things.

Moving our bodies in exercise is such a gift and blessing.  Perhaps it’s why my heart hurts for people who make jokes about exercising and have not ever let themselves fully embrace the joy of it. Who choose to remain sedentary and not do the very thing they are made to do.

Yeah I get it. In the beginning, it’s hard.  You sweat. You realize how out of shape you are as you gasp for air. You may hurt and ache for a few days. You’ve got to be intentional about making it happen.  You have to find an activity you want to do. Then you do it… no excuses.

It takes effort.

I know. I’ve been there. Done that. Felt that way.

But when you do get moving….. and it starts getting in your blood.. and you look forward to it..

that’s when you feel so alive, so grateful, so appreciative.

That my friend, is when you realize how thankful you are for the pure gift of being able to do what you do and you never take that beautiful gift for granted again.

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To Exercise Or Not To Exercise

I exercise

 

Ever have a morning where you wake up and you know right away, you’re just not gonna be on your game that day?

That’s where I was yesterday morning. And by that I mean I woke up not feeling “bad”  just not feeling awesome.

My tummy was growling for food, but I wasn’t sure if I should give it food ( know what I mean?) I kinda felt like someone was just in my stomach stirring it. I didn’t feel super energetic and eek… coffee… made me feel a little queasy.

I know things aren’t going well if coffee makes me queasy… that is just so very…wrong….

Anyway, as I was waking up and determining what exactly the deal was and why I wasn’t feeling a 100% impressive, I was also weighing out this….

“Am I on for my workout? Is what’s going on enough to call it a rest day or is it something that I can stomp down and plow through?”

I’ve always been really in touch with my body and listening to it. In the past few years, as an athlete, I’ve become more aware and conscious of it. Running has taught me a head to toe awareness when I’m on the road… a constant assessment of all systems.

On rare occasions when I didn’t feel something was right, I’d cut my run shorter.

So here I was this morning doing the mental assessment. I didn’t honestly “feel” like it but if I listened to my feelings there would be a lot of times I didn’t get out there. I was trying to listen to my body and determine….

was I trying to make an excuse to not workout ( hey, you could make today a “rest” day) it seemed like a good morning to just put my feet up…sip on coffee that was making me queasy…. OR…

get my gear on and head out for a little and see how things went. I convinced myself I could go try 30 minutes on the rowing machine and if I wanted to do more, I could. If not, I’d wrap it at 30 minutes. I can do anything for that short length of time.

I grabbed the weights thinking I’d do a short session with them first before the rower. That was my first clue… they felt so…heavy. Now I hear you… “aren’t they supposed to be?” but you see there is the heavy I’m accustomed to and prepare to engage with and then there’s the “it feels heavy ’cause I don’t feel so strong this morning”  feeling.

After a few minutes with them, I left that behind ( no weights today) and moved to the rower. Again, 10 minutes in I was feeling warm but not the usual way I feel when my body is getting fired up from a workout.

I finished out my 30 minutes (cause I’m stubborn like that and knew I wasn’t going to die for doing it)

I headed in and feed the body a protein breakfast with some veggies which it handled fine.

And you know what? Mentally I just felt better for having done something. It’s crazy but I feel so “off” when I don’t get a workout in.

I knew I wasn’t totally on my game so I adjusted my plans. A little bit was better than nothing.

Don’t get me wrong or hear me wrong…. if I’m really sick I won’t work out. That’s just paying attention to my body and listening and honoring it.

But I’ve learned that I have to discern sometimes between my mind and body connection and fight down things that come to all of us.

Do I have a valid issue for not working out? Or am I leaning into the “being lazy” zone?

I’m no different than you. There are days I want to make excuses to not get up and get out there and do it. Trust me… I’ve had those thoughts. It’s just way easier for me to stomp them down and keep moving and not listen to the voices that are encouraging me to be lazy ( because that’s what it is for me).

I know that my workouts empower me and make me feel strong and energetic for my day. I feel worse not doing them. I feel out of sorts and not myself.  These reasons are exactly why I push through the ideas suggesting I not workout.

Maybe you struggle with similar things. Perhaps you have been in places of assessing if your workout needs to go on, or if it’s a time for you to rest and come back stronger for the next one.

I want to encourage you to listen to your body and do what you need to maintain your health, but also be mindful of those lurking excuses that might keep you from doing what you need to do.

Tell me… do you listen to your body when it comes to working out? How do you call a workout? Are you able to see excuses over valid health concerns?