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.
Well stated – from a mom who knows caring for a terminally child
Nina, I understand. The second toughest thing to having a terminal disease is caring for someone who does. Hang in there.
ABSOLUTELY A GREAT POST! I STARTED ON MY LIFE CHANGE, TO ACCOMPLISH A GOAL WHICH MOST PEOPLE WOULD THINK “OVER THE TOP”, BUT I’VE DONE IT, “OVER THE TOP”. iT’S ABOUT PERSEVERANCE, AND BELIEVING YOU CAN; AFTER ALL, “ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD”!
Great post, David. Adjustments are a part of life. I think it has more to do with perspective and attitude and of course the situation.
For example, students who are struggling with a tough curriculum in school or frustrated employees at a job or people who are in challenging communication situations at home, work or even in neighborhood communities….
It’s about PERSPECTIVE to make ADJUSTMENTS and RE-EXAMINATION – again and again. In most situations it is more about the viewpoint from a reactive stance related to quitting or not quitting.
Let’s take the kid who just can’t get math. Their first reaction may make them want to quit. And of course a parent or teacher will say “Stick with it, don’t quit.” But that doesn’t make the kid want to quit math any less. Enter in the substitute professor who says “Just pretend that the numbers are baseballs.” Suddenly the kid who really has a passion for baseball can do math because they see that these numbers aren’t really all that evil, they just needed to shift perspective in how they looked at those numbers.
The human brain may actually be the same brain in another human, but not everybody thinks the same way.
People get stuck on thinking one way is right or another is how things should be. Ego gets involved with some ways of thinking and others sometimes say ‘that’s just how it is so accept it.’ But the problem with people quitting anything in life, it has to do with how their mind works and what their experiences are to actually help them make the shift in seeing something outside their comfort zone of where they are.
If you’re on a basketball team and your coach says “Always hand the ball to Jerry…. he’s faster and more agile.” But the taller player Adam in the game wants to quit, because it is favoritism, and the coach is not really presenting the truth, as speed and agility really don’t always apply in every play, sometimes you need height…
ADJUSTMENTS. Adam’s ego made him want to quit. It depends on how Adam either shifts his mindset or re-examines the situation. Maybe it’s not Jerry’s fault or the coach’s fault. Maybe Adam hasn’t been aggressive in the game to show his potential. Sometimes quitting can have a lot to do with one’s actions or lack of actions.
But maybe volleyball is a better sport for Adam…..he can use his height and have a better shot at being his best because it’s a different kind of team sport.
If we keep checking in with ourselves through RE-EXAMINATION,
and be honest with PERSPECTIVE and make ADJUSTMENTS and keep repeating this process, there is a way for every person to deal with every challenge they face. But the answers or formula are not the same for everyone to reach the same destination.
Since no two people are exactly the same, the way they approach the challenge may not be correct in approaching it the same way. It is possible for people to reach the same result through different formulas or scenarios based on what their individual conflicts are. 🙂
You have made a superb observation about cancer survivors…the ones who have marched through the treatment and beyond. We didn’t give up. We understood the obstacles we faced were momentary. We stayed focused on the goal, following all the plans and most importantly, learned to become mentally and emotionally flexible in order to adjust and move with life.
Totally agree David. As I move towards my Holistic Nutrition practice I realize working with a practice client that it’s great to set guidelines, not rules. Rules are hard and rigid, where guidelines leave one to flexibility to fit individual needs. To me nutrition is about nurturing one self and others, LOVE. That takes a lot of adjustments, whether it is in athletics or in disease. Blessings
This is certainly a work in progress. I should have known better than to expect a linear result of success, but still hoped for it. Now I’m coming to terms with the physical (and mental) setbacks and obstacles of long term chemo, acknowledging them and figuring a way around the obstacle. Pre-cancer I would just bust right through it, now it’s a finesse game around or even under the obstacle. Please know that during many workouts or training runs when I’m hitting the wall, thinking of stopping or slowing down, I think of all of your collective efforts on my behalf. That propels me with a little boost of motivation to do a few more reps or run a little further before walking. Find out what motivates or inspires you and use the energy it gives you to push your personal envelope just a little further. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve!
Thanks for adding your perspective, Jeff. Like Stacey says… perspective is everything. Keep fighting! You are inspiring more people than you know.
Jeff… your trek has been inspiring. And sometimes I know it is tough for people to marvel at your strength and endurance while sometimes some days are easier than others. Watching my father go through chemo and my mother battle Alzheimer’s and breast cancer for 26 years, I can tell you that you are allowed to be human and feel what you feel. This is your right and no one ever judges whether you have a bad day or a good day. When fighting the good fight, it is a rollercoaster. But the hardest fight is battling yourself and what ping-pongs in your head at night. I know that it is not easy.
It is in these times, when some days are a tad tougher than others, I want to remind you….
KNOW that you are loved.
KNOW that people believe in you.
KNOW that you CAN CONQUER anything, because you
TAKE STOCK in your progress and what you have overcome thus far…….it is miraculous to say the least.
Also know that you have the power to continue to fight through. The adjustments you make get easier through applying your right brain creativity while you keep fighting.
This may seem silly, but you will smile when you do this:
Get a glass out of the cupboard.
Pretend you are blind and close your eyes.
You are thirsty and you need to fill the glass,
but you don’t want to spill the water and make a huge mess.
So how do you fill the glass almost to the top and quench your thirst without spilling the water with your eyes closed?
* Do you ‘listen’ to the water hitting the bottom of the glass and
pay attention to the pitch as it gets fuller to know that it is full since you can’t see it?
* Do you place one finger inside the glass close to the top of the rim, to feel when it reaches the tip to know that it is full and so you can stop filling it because the water reaches the top?
Have you noticed that filling the glass with water with your eyes closed is not impossible, if you look at your creative options in your mind and shift with this ONE SIMPLE ADJUSTMENT to your condition?!
YES. It is possible to fill that glass.
And so I share this with you to show you NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. More importantly, YOU CAN DO IT. YOU CAN ACHIEVE what seems impossible, with just this shift.
Earlier in my post reply, I talk about PERSPECTIVE AND ADJUSTMENT…….but now I am sighting an example ironically
for those who ‘lose sight’ in just that by showing it can be done.
You are strong.
You can fight.
You can move mountains.
Mind over matter.
Your will can indeed succeed.
Sending God’s greatest blessings, love and support.
You have a captive group here, cheering you on, every step of the way. We believe in your fight and plight and
appreciate your showing up every single day……….
JUST AS JEFF.
You need to do nothing more or meet anyone’s expectations.
Realize that you are pretty incredible just as you are!!!
Stay focused and know…… YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
Self-motivation is an illusive concept. Those who are internally motivated, need little external encouragement. However those who lack self-motivation, can’t just get it from pep-talk. Telling a person who lacks motivation “don’t quit” is about as useful as telling an alcoholic “don’t drink”. I believe the key is getting the right support system. Hence I agree with the last paragraph in the blog which suggests reaching out to friends who can truly support you in time of need. But what about those who lack such a support framework? Not much hope for them I suppose.