Never Give Up? Why You Should

Never give up? It was the best thing I ever did.

Never give up? It was the best thing I ever did.

Athletes always say “never give up.”  Most of the time, however, it feels like the athletes saying this are the successful ones who have already “made it” while you’re still down fighting in the trenches, grasping at some goal or dream that seems to be completely out of reach. Kind of like your parents saying they understand your problems when you’re a teenager, as if.  Never. Give. Up. I’ve repeated those words to myself countless times in racing and training, even while I’m cooking dinner thinking about my next race but some days giving up is all I want to do.

A few months ago while I was training for a running race, amidst the hardest sprint session of my life, giving up was all I could think about. It was over 30 degrees, my legs felt horrible and my mind was exhausted from fighting off the constant desire to just stop and sit down in the shade.  I cracked.

The urge to quit that I had always overcome eventually became my predominant focus and so I just stopped.  Mid-sprint I came to a complete stop and stood, catching my breath, in the shade of someone’s driveway. It felt amazing! The instant satisfaction of pain relief from leg-breaking sprints, mentally and physically, was all I could have imagined and more.

The driveway where I quit.

The driveway where I quit. Not your typical motivational poster! 

I stood in the shade, watching my heart rate plummet on my watch…and with it my sense of achievement. Like I had broken the athlete code, I was suddenly very aware that I had quit. Far from stopping for a “legitimate reason” like a physical malady, I stopped because I was simply tired. Immediately, I regretted my decision and I went on to complete my sprint set. No record-breaking times but every time I ran past that driveway on my circuit I got a renewed sense of determination. I wasn’t going to give up.

Okay, so a cliché story in the end but, contrary to popular belief, giving up is one of the best things I have ever done. To this day, whenever I run past that driveway I think about the decision I made during that sprint session and it gives me a little mental boost. I may have quit for 10 minutes but I didn’t give up. So, from someone who is down in the trenches still fighting, go ahead and give up because you won’t do it twice.

8 responses to “Never Give Up? Why You Should

  1. Love your perspective, and nice to know that I’m not alone out there. I pushed and pushed for so many years, it’s nice to slow down every now and then and admire the scenery… in this case a breathtaking driveway entrance gate! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. HAHA wow I love this post and your blog is awesome! You just made me laugh, thanks for that! 🙂 Also love the gate on the house you stopped at, I mean you know it could be a motivational poster after all… hehe… So glad you didn’t give up and I find that when I need to stop like you have described my last efforts are usually better and I am able to push myself harder and then it’s actually more benefitting, well that’s what I like to believe! Hope you have an awesome week and I can’t wait to read more of your posts! Auds 🙂

    • “No excuses. No regrets. I believe in the impossible.” I love your outlook! The more positive vibes in the world the better. And, yes it could totally be a motivational poster! I just hope the owners never see it! Happy training 🙂

      • Aw thank you, being positive I say is the only way… having hope when others have tried to tell me otherwise has helped me through bad times… and running of course hehe… 🙂 I completely agree! It’s like when you run to one gate that’s closed run to another one that is open! Oh well, I’m sure there’s heaps of gates like that hmmm 😀

  3. Loved the expression ” Never give up “. But doing it once gives one the strength to think back and try to never do it again. I was there on Sept 6 th 2003 and after family and friends pushed I was able to get uo and going and haven’t stopped. Good lesson.Andy

  4. Giving up is never an option for me! But reassessing and changing directions due to circumstances is always part of the overall mix. Inspiration comes in many forms. Bet you will never forget “your gate”!

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