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Quiting is only tempory relief

1 November 2016 No Comment


I saw a good quote today – “If you quit once, it becomes a habit, never quit.”

When a new athlete joins the squad it doesn’t take long before their fighting spirit, their inherent toughness shows up. The people who have that killer instinct on race day, have it every day of their lives. It’s a way of living, it’s a way of thinking, in fact I believe that it’s beyond thinking. I don’t think there’s any thinking, or considerations of options.

A natural fighter, just behaves instinctively. For the natural fighter there are no options. There a “right thing to do”, and there’s shortcuts. The natural fighter never takes the shortcuts.

The person who listens to the excuses that pop into their head, is usually the person who considers other options. If you want something bad enough, there are no options. Taking an easy option in training, can so easily become a habit. It’s a habit that will lead you nowhere. It’s a habit that can only lead to disappointing results.

Not all of us are born with that natural “killer instinct”. Some of us have never had it brought out in us. Parents often share their own fears with us too strongly, infecting us with the same fears. I remember my own Dad saying things to me like, “Don’t get too cocky”, “Be careful, don’t bight off more than you can chew”, where my mother simply believed I could do whatever I dreamed. Her belief in me was not necessarily spoken, I just felt it.

As a coach I often put little tests before my athletes, tasks where they have options. The ones who pick the easy option are noted, and given a little bit more help and encouragement in the future. An increase in confidence often comes from a coach or parents expectations, a subtle suggestion that someone expects you to be able to do it, can be the nudge that gets you across the line.

We all have to step out into the unknown, take a risk before the confidence arrives. Usually when the little voice in our head offers us the option of quitting, the other option is to do what we fear, or want to avoid.

We may joke about our friends who always have a “discount voucher” ready in a training session, to use for an early shower, but quitting definitely does becomes a habit.

If we think about it, quitting gives instant relief. But you have to live with the fact that you not only let yourself down, but you let down all of your family and friends.


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