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The Dilemma of Persistence: Navigating the Tough Choice in Training and Life

"You can either keep going or quit. Both are hard." This simple yet profound saying encapsulates a universal truth in both your training and all life's pursuits. It acknowledges the challenges inherent in both persevering and giving up. In this letter, we'll delve into how this concept applies to your training program and provide practical tips for choosing to persevere when stuff gets hard.

The Challenge of Continuing

Continuing your journey, especially in the face of adversity, requires immense willpower and resilience. In the context of your training program, this might mean pushing through muscle soreness, overcoming plateaus, or finding time in a busy schedule. In life, it translates to persisting despite setbacks, rejections, or failures.

The Difficulty of Quitting

Quitting, often seen as the 'easy way out,' can be surprisingly hard. It comes with its own set of challenges, including feelings of regret, questions about what could have been, and the impact on our self-esteem. Quitting a training program might mean grappling with a sense of unfulfilled potential or failure, while in life, it could lead to lingering thoughts about missed opportunities.

The Benefits of Perseverance

Choosing to keep going with your training program, despite the difficulties, holds significant benefits:

  • Physical and Mental Strength: Persisting with your training will lead to a stronger, more resilient body and mind.

  • Growth and Learning: Overcoming challenges will provide valuable life lessons and opportunity for personal growth.

  • Achievement of Goals: Persistence is often the key factor in turning your dreams into reality.

Understanding the Value of Letting Go

In some cases, quitting is not a sign of weakness but a strategic decision. It can be about redirecting your energy to more fruitful endeavors or recognizing when a particular path is not serving your best interests. The key is to quit with purpose, not out of despair.

Balancing Act: When to Push Through and When to Pivot

The real challenge lies in discerning when to keep pushing and when to change direction. This decision should be based on:

  • Alignment with Goals: Does continuing or quitting bring you closer to your long-term goals?

  • Personal Wellbeing: Are you sacrificing your physical or mental health?

  • Joy and Passion: Are you still passionate about what you’re pursuing?

Ulitmately, your gut will tell you whether you are quitting because things are a little uncomfortable, or because it is in your best interest.

How to Keep Going When You Want to Quit: Strategies for Perseverance

  1. Set Realistic Goals: Break your larger objectives into smaller, achievable targets. Celebrate these milestones to maintain motivation.

  2. Find Your 'Why': Reconnect with the reasons you started. Whether it's for health, personal accomplishment, or another purpose, remembering your 'why' can reignite your drive.

  3. Create a Support Network: Surround yourself with friends, family, or a community who supports your goals. Accountability and encouragement from others can be incredibly motivating.

  4. Embrace Flexibility: Be open to adjusting your training methods or routines. If something isn’t working, it’s okay to try a different approach.

  5. Track Your Progress: Keep a journal or log of your progress. Seeing how far you've come can be a powerful motivator to keep going.

  6. Manage Expectations: Understand that progress is often non-linear. Accept that there will be good days and bad days.

  7. Incorporate Variety: To avoid burnout, mix up your training routine. Trying new exercises or activities can renew your interest and challenge your body in different ways. This is why I love CrossFit!

  8. Focus on Self-Care: Prioritize adequate rest, nutrition, and recovery. Taking care of your body and mind is essential for sustained effort.

  9. Visualize Success: Regularly visualize achieving your goals. This mental practice can boost your confidence and commitment.

  10. Learn from Setbacks: Instead of getting discouraged by setbacks, view them as learning opportunities. Analyze what went wrong and how you can improve.

  11. Reward Yourself: Set up a reward system for sticking to your program. This could be anything from a relaxing day off to a small treat.

  12. Seek Professional Guidance: Don’t hesitate to consult a trainer or a coach for advice and guidance. Sometimes, professional input can provide the boost you need.

The journey through your training program, much like any path in life, is filled with moments where we must choose between persevering and quitting. Both choices are difficult, but choosing to continue often leads to growth, achievement, and a sense of fulfillment. Don't trust the excuses your mind comes up with. It is critcal to discern whether you are quitting because things got a little hard, or if tactically there is a better path for you. By employing strategies to keep yourself motivated and focused, you can navigate the tough times and emerge stronger. Remember, the decision to keep going, though challenging, can lead to extraordinary results not just with your fitness, but in all your life pursuits.


Coach A

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