How I learned to quit… by never giving up…

Don’t be a baby, don’t quit.

Quitters can’t be choosers.

I don’t disagree with any of the messages that we reinforce across the generations about quitting. The truth is that we live in a culture in which people are so often follow their whims or go running at the first sign of a challenge.

I’ve always been known for someone who knows how to get what I want and can do something once I set my mind to do it. I guess that the thing about having an eating disorder. Apparently we are a stubborn and determined lot.

The challenging of recovery was learning to channel that energy and determination towards helping myself, loving myself. I’d spent so much of my time dedicating my energy to fighting for other things. And I had to be taught to reframe the way I think and to fight for myself. I knew my true goals but I didn’t know how to fight for them. And I had to learn how not to give up before a challenge I never could have imagined.

Running became a big part of that… because in running I learned to push myself to do what I didn’t think was possible.

Paradoxically enough, to sign up for my first marathon, I had to know I would be brave enough to quit if I had to.

Yes, you read that right. After all that talk about not giving up, I had to learn to be brave enough to quit? That’s right. Because learning to quit was a product of learning how to never give up.

I learned to fight for me, not for perfection.

Quitting a marathon, that’s not quitting. Rather it is deciding to continue fighting for myself.

Two weeks ago I had to come to grips with the fact that I won’t be able to run my marathon in May. The fact is I need to fly to Italy that evening and after reading a few articles and knowing how exhausted I will be (and how alert I need to be for the event I’m attending in Italy) I decided the risk of blood clots associated with the long flight isn’t worth it. It took me about 48 hours to accept. But finally despite being in the best shape I’ve been in my life, I had to decide to quit my marathon.

Between you and me, it is a blessing in disguise. I am going to be traveling nearly every weekend for the next two months. And the fact of the matter is I was already getting burnt out even before I started my intense training.

I’m bummed but there will be more marathons.

Above all I’m proud of myself. Because this lesson about quitting… I could only learn it by refusing to give up.

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