If there’s one best thing I’ve learned from distance running and cycling, it is this. You will encounter pain, setbacks, frustration and lack of desire with any physical activity you take on. Any one of these can be a reason to hang up your shoes or park your bike. Or it can be a catalyst to make adjustments.
Even the tiniest of changes can be a giant help. New shoe inserts and a Velcro thigh strap helped me through a marathon. Adjusting the seat height by a half an inch made a difference in my century ride.
I think many new athletes have a tendency to want to “fix something once and for all” but it doesn’t work that way. A fix in one area can cause a new problem in another. You have to be willing to keep experimenting and accepting that this is part of the process. The rewards are worth it if you can stick with it.
Now stay with me on this leap of logic. I have family members and very close friends battling life and death diseases right now. There’s really no equivalence between running a marathon and going through cancer treatment, but I think there are similarities in the way you tackle them both:
- Set a clear goal
- Learn all you can
- Follow the plan
- Make adjustments
Even the most gifted athletes get frustrating injuries. And even the toughest fighters have dark moments of doubt. One thing that all champions and all survivors have in common is that they don’t quit.
If you have quitting on your mind right now, pick up the phone and call that friend who knows what you’ve been through… one who will remind you of your greatest moments of strength. Then get back to making adjustments and getting back on track.
You can get through this. Please don’t quit.