Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It's ok to quit

You might be surprised to hear me say this but it's ok to quit.  Quitting doesn't mean you're a quitter.  

Surprised to hear a fitness & triathlon coach say that?  Let me share a short story.  

When I was five I joined a kids softball group, but I joined late.  The coach was one of those people that didn't believe in review so I was thrown into something that I'd never done before (hello, five years old.  I'd never played organized softball) and I had absolutely no idea what was going on.  I hated everything about it, and not just because I was confused.  It just wasn't my thing.  So my parents let me quit after a few days, no big deal really.  Except to a relative that got wind of this.  She called me up to tell me I "was a quitter."

I was devastated.  This was my beloved relative.  It broke my heart & for decades I had a complex about being a quitter.    
Me at my first marathon

I know better now.  I'm not a "quitter."  But I do quit.  I quit things that I find don't fit into the lifestyle I want to lead.  I quit things if it affects my health or spirituality, and I quit my fitness regimen if it's not working...and I feel great about it.  

Last year I was supposed to run a marathon.  My training from the start wasn't right.  My body wasn't responding, I was tired all the time & I could feel things just weren't right.  So I quit!  I could have pushed through.  I could have forced my body to do the distance.  But at what cost?  Sure it's nice to cross the finish line of a big race but is it worth it if you do that at the expense of future races?  I knew if I kept going it would prolong the body's ability to adapt to training, causing my upcoming triathlon to suffer, and who knows when the snowball would stop rolling.  Not worth the cost.  

So I quit, took some time to do light exercise so my body felt healthy again and now I'm right back on schedule for a great 2016 race year.  I'm feeling good & looking forward to my triathlon in May.

I urge you to quit!  Not always, of course.  Quit when your body asks you to rest. Quit if you don't enjoy something.  Listen to your body - always - not the voice in your head & not to the person who doesn't know what your body needs.  Remeber: quitting something is very different than being a quitter.  - Emily Collins, Ironman Certified Coach, ITCA certified triathlon coach, ACE personal trainer & NESTA certified sports yoga instructor