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A Word On Quitting (and a personal story)

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A Word On Quitting (and a personal story)

A word on quitting: Finding your strength and purpose so the thousand distractions in your life don't derail you.

The art of getting people results with all things fitness is what I've dedicated the past 20 years of my life to.

Frankly, that's the easy part....if you'll do the work.

The hard part is the all-too-real urge to give up, succumb to stress and distraction, and the very real things that get in the way of showing up to the gym on a regular basis.

I may sound like I'm making fitness and nutrition sound easy.

But it's far from it, and I acknowledge that.

Just this year, we've had a client pass from cancer. Others experiencing loss in the family. Our newest kettlebell baby (born in the last month). Job changes. Moves out of state.

And so much more.

That's not even including the normal "stuff" like work stress, deadlines, changes in your kids hobbies and sports, etc.

No matter what your personal story to health and fitness is, it will involve many reasons you could quit.

I thought I'd share a story about persevering from my own life! It's one that was very different than your normal challenges (you'll see why!). But it's also very REAL.

So here you go...

 

In 2001, I hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. 2,100 miles of rocky terrain covered over 6 months.

The single toughest adventure in my life took more willpower to complete than anything I've done since.

I also think that by making it. By not becoming a statistic as one of the 70+% of folks who quit.

I learned a lot about doing things that sometimes suck and are sometimes amazing...and not quitting.

Personally, going through this challenge is where I got my strength from to survive something like running a gym during Covid and not going belly-up. A very real possibility for a few months there.

Of course, it's obvious that people quit the AT along the way. It's grueling.

On a daily basis, you have the serenity of waking up in nature. Seeing amazing views. Receiving "trail magic" from locals who leave snacks or drinks at road crossings to bring us joy. Seeing the best in people and the planet.

But I also remember the entire month I dealt with crippling plantar fasciitis. The pain meant every single step felt like a knife into the bottom of the foot.

I remember the ridiculous green flies in Massachussets that wouldn't stop biting my neck. The incredible heat at night in the summer months where you'd give anything for a breeze.

Now most people who quit do so in the first month. They just get slapped in the face and realize it's not for them.

But the hardest times for me were actually many months later.

Like when I stopped for what was supposed to be 3 days at home in Maryland....that extended to over a week.

I vividly remember passing along some houses (I think in NJ) and hearing the sounds of people enjoying a cookout. Probably drinking cold drinks and hanging out with friends.

How easy it would have been to just step off the next road crossing and go home.

Who would stop me or blame me.

Then, in one of the last states, a fellow hiker left a note at a road crossing and did just that. "I'm out. I can't keep going."

It was like a gut punch. I don't even remember who it was. Just a fellow hiker who'd made it SOOO far, and couldn't go another step.

I am thankful to this day that I didn't give up. There were so many times I could have done it.

But you know what?

I wouldn't know what it would feel like to round the corner in Maine and see my sister who'd helped me the whole way! That running together and tears of having shared the journey.

I wouldn't know what the top of Katahdin looks like, and what it means to be one of the few who made it there in a calendar year.

So much would have been taken from my life if I'd stepped off forever.

 

Now maybe your stakes don't seem as serious as my story.

But I would contest that they're even bigger.

You, the busy mom (or dad) who's working and taking care of a family and trying to invest some resources into your own health.

You're doing something even more challenging and possibly important than hiking a trail.

You're making sure your body and mind are healthy and strong so you have quality of life for decades to come.

Your challenges are even greater than what I had to endure, because the quest to stay fit has constantly changing roadblocks.

The thing is...if you quit, you'll never know the magic that comes from investing in yourself.

The trips you'll take in your later years, because you took care of making your body strong and capable.

The grandbabies you'll get to experience.

All the gifts your life has ahead. Made richer because you invested in being a healthier person!

 

This is such an important mindset if you want to be one of the FEW who crafts out time for your health on a weekly basis.

It is never easy. But you will get so much back if you stick it out.

If this story touched you, REPLY and let me know an event from your life that taught you about personal strength and not giving up!!!

 

David Beares

* the pic below was from the White Mountains in New Hampshire on my thru-hike. Arguably the toughest stretch of the AT. See how steep? We climbed up and down rocks for miles in this stretch. The top of the whites would have winds up to 60mph. It could be 70 one day and high 20's the next. I wouldn't take it back for the world...

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