Last weekend, I watched a friend attempt to run a 100k. (That’s 62 miles for those of you who are as uneducated as I was before this momentous day.) So there I was at the halfway point with this big sign that read, “Don’t Even Think About Quitting” when I saw him walking in the distance.
That’s right. Not running; walking. And it wasn’t even speed-walking or “just saving my energy until the next stretch” walking. It was a genuine “something went wrong and my friend was well-past-the-point-of-merely-thinking-about-quitting” walking.
So, my sign didn’t work too well because my friend blew his knee and sort of had to quit. Which is really not an encouraging end to what was supposed to be a motivational story. But the thing is… sometimes quitting is the best possible thing you can do. Because sometimes running makes it worse, and then you’re down for weeks with an injury that could have easily been avoided.
But I’m willing to bet that in this race called life, most times—most times—when your lungs are burning and your calves are cramping and you’re thinking you won’t be able to make it over that next hill, you just need to hear someone cheering you on. You simply need to look up and see that sign that reads,
“Don’t Even Think About Quitting.”
That’s what gives you the drive to make it through another mile, another checkpoint, another incline.
So if it’s all right with you, I want to be your fan club today. I want to be the person who stands on the sidelines, jumping up and down while screaming my lungs out that you -yes, you- can do it. You’ve got what it takes. I believe in you.
And I would be willing to jump in the race and run alongside you if that’s what it takes to convince you that you can make it a little farther. Just a little farther. Because you’re almost there, really. At least, you’re much closer than you were a few miles back. You’ve got this. Really, you’ve got it.
So no matter how loudly your lungs scream for air, no matter how greatly your calf muscles are protesting, no matter how daunting that next incline appears…
Don’t You Think—Even Think—About Quitting.