Hey, friend. I know how you might be feeling. You might just want to throw in the towel and quit. Just give up altogether.
It might be an issue of mental illness, in which case I plead with you to seek help. Reach out. Don’t for a second think no one will understand or that no one will want to walk through this with you. You are not alone and don’t have to feel like you are. I’m here, if you feel like no one else is. Email me. Send me a message on Facebook. Find me on Instagram. I’m here.
Your wanting to give up might not be anything that warrants major concern, though. You might just be thinking that there is no point in pushing through the hard things to get to the prize on the other side. Maybe you are just keenly aware that nothing comes easily, and that every time you try, resistance like a hurricane comes and pushes you off the path. You set goals, but as soon as you get serious, there are so many things that make you want to give up.
I totally get that. Yesterday I did a big thing (for me) and resolved to start exercising. I downloaded the C25K app and did the first run, and y’all? You’d have thought I had run a marathon. I was so proud of myself (and rightfully so, I might add). I had taken a step (or a few thousand, according to my phone’s health app) in the right direction, and it felt good.
For the rest of the day, I had a bounce in my step…or at least I did until my leg muscles started tightening up and I had to stretch every 10 minutes. I genuinely felt good. When my husband came home I even told him that the run itself hadn’t been so bad. (That’s big, y’all. I’ve always loved the idea of running, but running itself? Not so much. Add to that the fact that I am horribly out of shape, and the run had every reason to be miserable.) It really hadn’t, and I felt really good afterwards both physically and mentally.
In fact, I later wrote these words in my bullet journal:
The good feeling of having run far outweighs any bad feelings while running. Press on, because regret over not running is worst of all.
I did. I actually wrote that, and prepared myself for today’s C25K day 2 by laying my clothes out last night and drinking water as soon as I got up. I opened the curtains, ready to face the day, and saw something I hadn’t quite expected. Rain. Rain, y’all. And wind. Lots of it.
For a brief second, I considered not running today. I considered shrugging it off and picking it up again tomorrow, until I realized that a)there’s rain in tomorrow’s forecast, too, and b)the vague muscle soreness in my legs when I got up would only get worse if I didn’t stretch them out again today.
So I did the unthinkable. I ran in the rain and the wind. I did the whole thing, which required two full laps around my neighborhood. As I passed my house to begin the second go around, it started to rain harder and a gust of wind blew said rain in my eyes. I wanted to stop…..but I didn’t. I pressed on, and I am so proud of myself for doing it.
My pride in my (albeit minor) accomplishment isn’t my only reason for writing today, though. I’m writing because for far too many of us, resistance keeps us from the good things life has for us. The push-back we get when we try to change or start a new habit or better ourselves is often enough to make us ask if it’s even worth it.
Is it worth it to run in the rain when I want to get healthier and feel better in my own body?
Is it worth it to miss out on my favorite holiday foods in order to maintain the health I’ve worked so hard to achieve?
Is it worth it to have to explain to everyone why I can’t be out late on Saturday night because I have made Sunday morning church a priority?
Is it worth it to lose friends because I don’t want to be a part of office gossip any longer?
Is it worth it to drag myself out of bed an hour earlier to have quality quiet time and get a good start to my day?
Is it worth it to spend time on my dream when it may never pan out to anything significant?
Too often, we listen to the voice of resistance. Too often, we decide that it’s not worth it. Too often, we convince ourselves that if we can’t do it perfectly, we ought not do whatever “it” is at all. Too often, we quit before we’ve ever really even started.
So today, I want to be the friendly voice of encouragement. Yes, it is worth it. All of it.
Friend, I want you to press on. No, you may not do it perfectly. No, everyone else won’t understand. No, they won’t always make it easy and encourage you and cheer you on. No, you may not do it as well as someone else.
And no, it won’t always be blue skies and gentle breezes. But anything worth having is worth rainy days and explanations and maybe even a little humiliation.
It. is. worth it.
The rewards exceed the resistance.
And you aren’t running alone, even if it feels that way. Press on, friend.
I’m pressing on with you,