Blowing Through the Discomfort—Achieve Anything

I planned for three, but while getting dressed, I decided two would be enough.

My workout is deliberately random — light, heavy, long, short, fast or slow — intentionally random to keep my body guessing.

It usually begins the night before when I plan the upcoming day.

Planning ahead allows me to mentally prepare, but sometimes the extra time has an undesirable affect.

By the time I woke up, the little voice had already come up several justifiable reasons whya two mile run would be enough:

it had been a while since my last run, I didn’t sleep well, I had a headache, etc. I had several valid reasons.

I had already failed.

Before I put my shoes on, I already agreed to quit two‐thirds of the way through.

As I warmed up I added pain to the list of reasons why I should stop.

I suppose it is old age, injuries from my days as a cop or maybe the pain was just in my head.

Regardless, my body hurt and the little voice pressured me to stop. I reasoned that pain was justifiable reasoning, whereas the others were just excuses.

Before quitting, I decided I would run one mile and stop if the pain didn’t go away.

Usually within the first mile, endorphins mask much of the pain, but this time it got worse.

At 1¼ miles, the little voice pushed hard for me to quit.

I really wanted to quit, but I concluded that if I ran a ¼ mile more, I would only have a ½ mile to go. That doesn’t make sense, but it’s the mind games I play to fight the little .

After I broke through the 1½ mile mark, it was downhill from there with only ½ mile left. I’d made it thus far, so I refused to quite before finishing the entire two miles.

As I turned a corner, I could see the 2 mile end up ahead, and with a burst of adrenaline —  I started sprinting.

With only two hundred yards left, my body no longer ached. The joint and muscle aches were shrouded by adrenaline, but now the pain was in my chest.

It was a different kind of pain. A very uncomfortable feeling, I can’t really explain, but I really wanted to quit.

I pushed harder seeing the end, but as I got excited about finishing, I felt guilt for not completing three miles. I had mixed emotions.

The little voice started congratulating myself for completing the two.

I considered running all three miles, but there was no way I could maintain that pace, the little voice persisted. I should just quit.

Eminem’s ‘Till I Collapse’ was blasting on my iPod. The song does it for me. Obviously, I’m not alone with these thoughts:

Sometimes you just feel tired
You feel weak and when you feel weak
You feel like you wanna just give up
But you gotta search within you
You gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you
And get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter
No matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse”

I started thinking about this blog post. These ideas come to me at random times. I thought of quitting several times during that run. It was one of those days when I just wasn’t into it.

While running, I realized these emotions are the story of life. Success in business, relationships, sports, money, anything, it ALWAYS come down to this moment.

There’s a turning point — a point where average people remain average, and high achievers push through. It’s the line where the majority give up, but that turning point is always one more step, one more moment, or one final push before major breakthroughs.

Crossing that threshold is uncomfortable, it’s painful—emotionally and physically—but the next time you’re there, take one more step, because quitting will always be more painful than what you’re feeling at that moment.

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7 Replies to “Blowing Through the Discomfort—Achieve Anything”

  1. Chuck,
    For me the important thing is that I have a pattern. Without a pattern it is too easy to not even consider exercise because I can always do it later (I never do). Now I do a set of exercises each morning. I don’t want to. I lie in bed putting them off but I get up and then I do them. If it is a matter of deciding each day, it won’t happen.

  2. I completely do the run another 1/4 then it’s a 1/2 to go thing. It really helps get through on those days you just don’t want to.

    This morning I almost justified not going to work out but knew that once I did I would be so much happier so I focused on that. Now, after CrossFit I feel awesome.

    Did you read my last blog on breaking through Chuck? It also addresses some of that, http://www.live-adventurously.com/lessons-i-learned-by-wanting-to-throw-up/

    Great post! Thanks for sharing

  3. I thought about dropping out of my Spanish courses after 2 weeks when I first arrived in Buenos Aires. People around me were already able to put together sentences. Now, I have an Italian background and speak Italian and French. I figured, “I will have Spanish down packed in no time.” Well, it was NOT all the case! I couldn’t put 2 words together and just wanted to quit.

    Then, I learned that some of these people had taken courses in the past, some actually had been here for months.

    So, I stopped comparing myself to others. Thinking that I should already be at a certain level because others were already there. I joined language exchange events and made friends with locals who couldn’t speak a word of English. Within 3 months I was able to carry a conversation.

    Accepting that you are were you are when starting out at something. Not comparing yourselves to others who are already were you want to be and have the patience to put in the effort to get there. This is also something I learned in not giving up.

    Thanks Chuck!

  4. I smiled as I read this post and smiled harder when I read the lyrics. This is a reminder to me with certain things (and people) going on in my life right now. I truly enjoy pushing myself, but sometimes that little voice can sound so convincing, but thankfully I tend to try to picture the outcome and it helps tremendously.

    I’ve battled that voice and the naysayers around me. The latter I’ve mostly walked away from and the voice we have our regular bouts. Nice post as always..

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