Pain is necessary for growth.
Exercise always reminds me of this.
This morning, when I made the mental commitment to sprint 100m 7X, I didn’t think anything of it. It was just an arbitrary number.
It became real when on sprint 5, I was bowed over, out of breath and squinting back at the starting line to where I had to walk. My oldest son was next to me because we were doing this together. He had of course already recovered and was waiting. For about 15 seconds I was in the same position, listening to thud of my heart and the sound of my youngest screaming while he ran around on the football field collecting the orange soccer cones.
The thought crossed mind to call it a wrap.
Prior to sprinting, we had already lapped the track and did some other exercises, so really the 5 sprints would have been sufficient. I was having an internal battle.
Was I about to pass out?
Was I enjoying this?
I didn’t want to push through and finish the last two and I held no strong convictions when I finally stood up straight and said, “Come on..”, indicating that my son should walk back to the starting line with me for #6.
#’s 6 and 7 were completed…barely and with no comfortability on my end, but when it was over, there was a feeling of instant gratification.
The whole process reminded me of a line from a book I read:
“Unless you do this, you had better not start at all, because modern psychology tells us that when we start something and do not complete it, or make a resolution and do not keep it, we are forming the habit of failure. . .If you do not intend to do a thing, do not start; if you do start, see it through even if the heavens fall; if you make up your mind to do something, do it; let nothing, no one, interfere…”
There are times when quitting is terrible and the feeling absolutely sucks and sits in the pit of my stomach.
For this reason alone, I know at some point I’m going to have to finish a business I failed at twice. The business itself wasn’t a failure. It was me failing to push through the pain of navigating an unknown terrain. Sometimes there is a part of me that wants to shut down the moment things get too uncomfortable. All that is, is laziness.
That’s why writing daily has become so important to me. This is beyond uncomfortable at times but there’s a lesson in it, some of which is still waiting to be seen.
Is It Ever Appropriate to Quit?
Yeah, I think so. Just yesterday I wrote about leaving behind my office jobs. 9-5’s were not for me and for me to have continued to do that would have been a failure in itself.
More recently, I started was freelance writing in January with the intent to make it my full-time thing. I quickly realized it wasn’t the answer I was looking for and decided to focus my energy on building my own brand instead.
The latter incident, though necessary, still didn’t feel good when I quit.
What does feel good is checking off that I’ve exercised each day, seeing 92 consecutive blog posts, and completing my work or other projects that I’ve set out to accomplish.
All of those things tell me I am winning.
When I push through despite being out of breath, despite feeling I have nothing to write, despite toying with the idea of quitting- those are the biggest wins.
Pain is a part of the process and it cannot be avoided, it is either the pain of failure or the pain of getting the win.