Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Throwing in the Towel

"Energy and persistance conquer all things."
~Benjamin Franklin

Have you ever wanted something and did not seem to be reaching your goal fast enough? Or encounter a road block so tough you almost sabotaged your end result?

I have and did this past week. Many spiritual scholars state that only through suffering are we truely able to reach enlightenment, Nirvana, true forgiveness in God's eyes and so on. Whatever belief you follow you know what the term or phrase is, this isn't a spiritual discussion. It is though "More Than A Ride". I cannot say one way or the other for sure, but I know the past several weeks and the most recent days has brought me to a new place, within myself.

To say the least. This past Friday I decided I was not gettng back on a bicycle. Ever! Plagued by a reoccuring/constant injury (the exact reason is speculated, but unknown). The injury was affecting my personal and professional life and was a constant hurt. I reached a point of frustration that I for whatever reason was unable to shake. I think for most of us we do not have iron clad determination (and well darned goo VO2Max) like Lance Armstrong, but we have exactly what we need when we need it.

I even went through all the reasons to keep going and nothing would move the feeling of defeat along. I was preparing my bike to sell and wrapping up all loose ends for the Livestrong Challenge. I just did not feel I had what it took to keep going. I even thought about the people fighting cancer. I wondered if they ever reach the same point of frustration. Of not understanding why the equation is not changing.

Tammy kept saying she wasn't accepting my decision, because "you're not a quitter", she would say. I was quitting, cause I'm not a quitter. Like many of us when we reach our limit, we begin to go back through all the times we did not achieve what we had hoped. I felt like "the fat kid on the playground" (no offense to any fat kids on he playground-keep playing by the way), the kid so uncoordnated and unable to do what the other kids are doing and get hurt, because their body is not as flexible or fast. Kids hurt usually bad enough to need a bag of ice or a trip to the school nurse. I know this, cause I was that kid struggling to make it and "hang" with the rest of the crowd. So Friday I had finally (or so I thought) reached my limit and tearfully gave up.

The tears should have told me I still believed in myself. It was a series of events that pushed me out of the hole I dug. Here is what I did, if you should ever reach a point of giving up on yourself.

1. Tell a friend you trust and had confided in your goals.
2. If you already do not have one seek out a support group. Riding (or walking or running or whatever, fill in blank) with a group helps to hold you accountable.
3. Believe in yourself. You're worth it. Even if you do not believe it right at this moment or any point in the future, remember that I believe in you right now.
4. Stop looking at your goal. Don't lose sight of it, but don't focus on it. Life is nothing but a journey to help us to grow. It is not about where we are going, but where we are right now. Enjoy, what you have, not what you don't have.
5. Keep a journal of what you are doing. You will find that you are doing better than you originally thought, once you reflect back.

I am lucky. I had Tammy who refused to allow me to give in. Jesse who kept asking if was riding and kept checking in. Joyce who reminded me, that I was not hurting ayone else, but myself. And Me because through riding I have begun to love myself and appreciate what I have been able to achieve, in many ways. I am not the first one up the mountians or hills, I have trouble sustaining a fast speeds, my endurance is not with everyone else I ride with, but I realize where I am right now is where I need to be.

Just have to keep going and keep turning the pedals, because accepting defeat is more memorable than working through the struggle. Don't give up, you're worth it!

Keep on turning,

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