When It's Ok to Quit

"Quitting is easy, and it only gets easier..."

This was a quote from my freshman football coach which has stuck with me over the years. I discovered the truth of this statement when I quit baseball back in high school. Quitting, at the time, was the ‘easy’ decision because it meant I didn’t have to work hard towards my sport anymore. Once I broke the seal of quitting, football was easy to give up next.  We were running two a days at the time and so giving up these hard aspects didn’t take a second thought. Quitting was an infection that creeped into other aspects of life. I no longer thought much about my goals, but would just gravitate to the easy path. Finding what was easy was all I cared about.

I returned to football after a promise to a coach for my senior year. I ended up breaking my leg before the season started and needed reconstructive surgery. I recovered enough to play but of course underperformed. But the important thing is this time I didn’t quit. The advice my coach offered me echoed in my brain. The experience of sticking through the pain and the difficulty has stuck with me. I hurt but the injury was able to heal. It was my willingness to take the easy path and give up on my goals that I regret most.

 
 Me in high school learning not to quit

Me in high school learning not to quit

 

People can get caught up in what “hurts” that day, what is challenging or even what may not be the most optimal movement pattern and lose sight of what they are after. Strength is the goal and by extension health. There is nothing wrong with being sore, losing motivation and saying that you don’t care anymore. But there is nothing that hurts as much as missing what you could’ve been. That is the reason quitting is dangerous. Grinding through things helps you as a human by building mental toughness. Embracing the hard things and reveling in what hurts can build you into the stronger person that you’ve always had in you. Strength training does a lot as it will quite literally make you stronger but sometimes the hump that you can’t get over, is truly understanding what is hard. Hard is willing yourself through pain, hard is making weight when others would quit, hard isn’t being hurt. Legitimate injuries shouldn’t be ignored but what you can do within those parameters should be and must be explored. People break sometimes when you push your own boundaries but that doesn’t mean you can’t work and improve. People should embrace the hard things in life because they make you stronger just like strength training will make you stronger. Quit on yourself, and you’ll only make it easier to quit the next time. So when is it ok to quit? How about never.

 
 Me now. Definitely not quitting.

Me now. Definitely not quitting.