Never Quit…..

Never Quit No Matter How Hard

This weekend Karen and I took a train-cation.  For those of you who do not know, that is a trip away from home where you go to train.  Boxers go on train-cations all the time as they prepare for their next bout.

While we were away I tackled the largest climb I have ever faced, even larger than California I believe.  It was part of a 2 hour 13 minute ride I was on and the entire time I kept thinking that I could stop now and who would know.  The answer was:  I will.  Those that read the posts on this site are not the ones that are going to deal with the sheer guilt of having quit.  They are not the ones who are going to deal with the fight I am undergoing in the middle of a 70.3 race when my legs will feel like taking another step may result in them just falling off.  They are not the ones who will come home to answer Karen’s question of ‘How was the ride?’

I was the one who was going to face those scenarios and with that in mind I plugged away and with every turn of the crank I got further and further up the climbs and little did I know I got closer and closer to cycling heaven.  Had I quit and turned around at this point, nobody would have blamed me, but I also would have missed the pure enjoyment of open road-no traffic riding.

It was about 10 minutes after this climb that I hit a flat section that was clear and fast.  I was able to turn my legs using the big ring.  I smiled wide and yelled ‘Whoooo!!!!!  This is what all that pain and suffering was for’  I just kept on going and at one point forgot that Karen asked me to be back in 2 hours.  I was just enjoying myself and thinking of how difficult that climb was.  How my quads were burning.  How I was basically pulling that bike up the hill.  How all those people in the cars going by me were thinking ‘Fool!’

But in the end I did it.  I conquered and did not quit.

Later that night I went on a lactate threshold run.  My goal was to put in 3.85-4.05 miles in 30 minutes.  That would have been pushing it especially after a  long day and also the 2 hour ride.  In the first 0.5 miles my lungs were burning and I was dripping sweat.  It was 90+ degrees out, humid and thick like pea soup with wind and hills.

Again, the idea that I could slow my pace down and enjoy a 30 minute run wandered into my head but I thought about reaching my goals.  I thought about the #THINKSPEED project.  I thought about how my legs were barely responding during the half-marathon portion of California.  How I told my coach I wanted to get faster on the run off the bike.

I pushed and I huffed and I plugged along.  I got to so many points where the bile would enter my throat but I forced it back down.  I was not going to have any excuses for not hitting my goals.  I was not going to quit on myself.

When the finish line showed up on the horizon I pushed and pushed.  I knew I was close but I wasn’t sure how close I was to my goal distance.  Once I hit the car I stopped my watch, looked down and then jumped up and down as if I had just won Kona.

I ran 3.972 miles in 30 minutes.  I was fired up.  I was excited.  I was ready to do anything and all because I did not quit.  All because I fought the demon excuses in my head.

And a funny thing happened as I walked into our room.  I forgot all about how difficult the start of the run was.

My point in this post is that quitting is easy.  Quitting seems like a good answer at the time but then the guilt sets in that you quit.  The rationale that you had for quitting becomes irrational after you have quit.

You all entered the endurance sports world with some sort of goal and you did not stop until you got there or are still working your way there but at no point did the word ‘quit’ enter into why you were doing your first endurance event.  You went into it to lose weight, to make friends, to prove that you could do it.  It was not to quit but to succeed.

Even when it seems like what you are doing is impossible, just remember that within moments you will think to yourself that wasn’t so bad and I can go further, I can go faster, I can be better.

Quitting is an excuse to give up on your dreams.  Would the kid in you be happy that you quit on your dreams?  I would think not so why quit?  Why let that 4 letter word enter your vocabulary?


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  1. Patrick says:

    train-cation. nice. Good job on the climb and the run. And I agree with you 100%. I’ve always thought that for most of us, our ability to reach our goals has less to do with athletic ability and more to do with mental stamina. I mean, you need an athletic base, but your mental game is the value added that really makes the difference.
    Patrick recently posted..Epic Ride Saturdays – Live Oak CanyonMy Profile

  2. This was the first I’ve heard of train-cation. Very cool.
    The Green Girl recently posted..Sole Runners Second Pre-Season Training SessionMy Profile

  3. Chuck says:

    The mind is an incredibly powerful tool. The most important (and free) piece of equipment an athlete has.

  4. Molly says:

    what’s that old saying? Quitters never win, and winners never quit? I tell myself that sometimes.
    Molly recently posted..If its not PF- its the hamstring Or the footMy Profile

  5. Jen says:

    Excellent post! Quitting just isn’t an option – stumbling, hitting bumps in the road, challenges — all part of the journey but quitting and ending the journey? No way.

    Awesome job in your bike climb and run. Total stotan.
    Jen recently posted..The good news and not so great newsMy Profile

  6. Boy did I need to hear this today. I am getting ready to tackle some hills (actual running goals, but also returning to school). I know the feeling on the other side of the hill, but sometimes when you are at the bottom or only half way up you can’t muster that memory. Excuses are only lies that we tell ourselves to take the easy way out! I do not want to live a life of excuses. Incredible post! I am glad you guys had a great weekend!
    Danielle @ weightsandmeasures recently posted..A Holiday DeclarationMy Profile

    • Jason says:

      Danielle – you are exactly right in that they are just excuses but I think the guilt of quitting is way worse than facing that hill.

  7. Marlene says:

    YEAH! I am so pumped up reading this! Way to push it and NOT QUIT! Soooo worth the pain!!
    Marlene recently posted..Uxbridge Run for the Diamond Half Marathon Race ReportMy Profile

  8. katie says:

    what a great post. we all have these moments in tough workouts and it is SO WORTH IT on the other side.
    katie recently posted..Crystal City 5K- the race that wasntMy Profile

  9. Scott says:

    NICE!!!! Great minds think alike, I wrote a post earlier today, this is the first chance I got to read yours and we are almost a mirror image of each other!!! I love this post.

  10. Craig says:

    IRONIC =

    very awesome Jason !! The mind is a dangerous weapon for sure.

  11. what a beautifully written post!!
    Amanda @ RunToTheFinish recently posted..Expecting Immediate ResultsMy Profile

  12. ok not sure my comment published for some reason. Anyhow, this was just an incredibly well written post and very inspiring!
    Amanda @ RunToTheFinish recently posted..Expecting Immediate ResultsMy Profile

    • Jason says:

      It got sent to spam but it has been saved. Thank you very much for your kind words….they are truly appreciated.

  13. Kevin says:

    Awesome post! And even awesomer workouts!

    One of my favorite quotes for not giving up is:
    “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up. How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal, and you have to be willing to work for it.” -N.C. State basketball coach Jim Valvano, shortly before he died of cancer

    I first read it in part 2 of this article ( that is even more inspirational than the quote itself.
    Kevin recently posted..What You MissedMy Profile

  14. Shannon says:

    I am so there with you! This week is my last high volume week before taper starts. My training partner in the pool wanted to cut out early today. It was only 500 more yards… does it make a difference? Yes. It does. To me, it does. I’m feeling the Eminem “Lose Yourself” song right now.

    “Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
    To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment
    Would you capture it or just let it slip?”

    It may be overplayed in the tri world, but it for many of us, our big races are our moments. We will not quit!
    Shannon recently posted..Happy Easter!My Profile

  15. Jeff Irvin says:

    Solid post dude!!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Ten Years Ago Today My Profile

  16. Michael says:

    Love this post. It’s so true. I posted something sort of similiar today. I always enjoy the inspiration and motiviation I get from blogs. Thanks Jason!
    Michael recently posted..My Almost Football CareerMy Profile

  17. Matt Oravec says:

    Loved this. And people wonder why we do it? Because we are NOT right in our heads ;)

    I realllllly want to run fast again but know better at this point. That feeling and sensation (or high) at that point, is wonderful!

    Nice job. Funny thing is, the guy in the car is the actual fool ;)

  18. lindsay says:

    ok. at first i thought a train-cation was a trip where you go away from home by train. i obviously don’t read very well :)

    i love this idea!! hmm can i convince josh to do it?!? (hah, probably not). i’d also probably get there and be too lazy to train… let’s just go lay on the beach instead.

  19. Colleen says:

    Train-cation… we’ve done those! They are awesome!

    Great job with the bike and the run. Shows how mentally strong you are! :)

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