It’s like 03:00 and we are “just walking” which is true for many but it’s a good jog for me. Damn near a sprint. It might be height related but mostly, it’s fitness related. Lack of fitness, rather. Maybe I’ll start working out the cardio muscles.
“Here’s a good spot to quit.”
“OK, this next light I’m definitely going to quit.”
“Soon as we crest this hill I’m done.”
“As soon as we down these coupons #donedeal.”
“Nah, definitely not training. Too much work. Also it wouldn’t be fair to these people.”
Those are a few of the thoughts going through my brain.
Actually…those are the only thoughts going through my brain.
I’ve found that I’m always thinking about quitting during long movements involving cardio…or “walking” as you people call it, whatever. Especially when at a pace faster than my leisurely stroll during events, from Lights to Heavies or 5Ks to my lone successful 50K endeavor.
Regardless of my talk-about-quitting-but-dont-really-want-to proclivities, I’ve quit at least four events in the past few years. So I guess I’m like 27-4 event career in that regard. Probably more but these four stand out [I’ve quit many other things in my younger years but I’ve since blocked out that trauma ].
- The first time I quit was HCL001 in Seattle when I didn’t show up for the Challenge because it was cold (dumb reason in hindsight )
- The second time I quit was at Survival Run: Hunter-Gatherer 50K– my most mentioned-in-person post! I gathered my homemade sandals and quit that sumbitch ten miles/ten hours in. It was hot and I was so over wishing for an injury/death on myself to quit.
- The third time I quit was actually a Did Not Start (DNS) but screw that, I quit by not showing up again for the Rocky Raccoon 50 Miler. Perhaps I knew subconsciously that I wouldn’t finish. Whether due to not training or it being 50 miles, I didn’t start.
- The fourth time was a few months later at the Hell’s Hills 50 Miler in Austin. I showed up and ran in my sandals and rocks/12mm sandals don’t work or I had bitch feet and was unconditioned. Either way, no go.
- In between 1 and 2 I quit the 50K I eventually finished. I quit on laps 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
So I’ve some experience in quitting and it’s not fun. Since then, I’ve let go any anger I’ve had toward myself for being a little bitch from quitting those events but it’s still there in the back of my mind. Some cadre at GORUCK have said that quitting is forever and it’s a stink you can’t wash off. It’s harsh but it’s also true; also cadre be dropping some truth bombs at these events, damn.
But you can’t let that be the end of the story.
You gotta fight back and what helps is you can listen to 80s songs and montages.
Like this bad boy here because “Miyagi have hope for you”:
‘Cause you’re only a man
And a man’s gotta learn to take it
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it
Try and you’ll succeed
And you can have your dreams!
There’s also these sweet music quotes/action movie songs from the 80s mixes:
I’ve had lots of conversations with people about quitting. I quit my first HCL aka didn’t show up to the Challenge ’cause it was cold as hell. Others have quit due to bitch feet or injury but quitting is a part of life. Maybe not yours and definitely not his. Want to know who doesn’t quit? Check this out:
Look at this dude right here. That face has “kill me now so I can stop running” all over it. Talk about a gutsy performance. I’m pretty sure the writers of Armageddon time traveled to the future and saw this picture and were inspired to model Harry Stamper after Eric. I’d have quit if I looked this bad…just saying. But no, not mister “all go, no quit Harry Stamper” though. That dude don’t know what it means to quit. I mean, did you see Armageddon? Dude blew himself up (sorry for spoilers but not really it’s an old movie).
One of my favorite parts of these events is being pushed to the point where you want to quit and you don’t know if you will make it – and you just hang out at that limit, that edge for a
few hours 00:01-24:00 hours if I’m being honest. This point is stressed when we are doing cardio. I can deal with the PT pretty much all day. Not because I’m a PT Hero (obviously) but I mean, because I can cheat some reps and it doesn’t make me want to quit as much as a slight jog does. Push ups, squats, flutter kicks, eh, it sucks but doesn’t make you want to quit. Walking at a brisk pace…hardest event in the world.
So why do something that makes you want to quit? That you don’t know that you can even finish? One, I like to hear myself talk. Whenever it’s the middle of the night and everyone has their poopy faces on (guilty as well) I like to crack a joke and usually it’s to make myself realize that whatever “this” is we’re doing, it’s not that bad. It’s not always funny and I’m sure everyone wants me to shut the hell up but whatever. Two, I’ve found that I like to hang out on that edge of quitting where it sounds like a not-bad proposition. There’s a feeling where you’re all “hell yeah, quitting would be amazing right now. I could go back home and drink some Lime-a-ritas and not do this shit” and then you power through those feelings because you ain’t no bitch (usually).
I’ve heard from others that they would not do an event where they were unsure they would finish or couldn’t do it the way they want to – not running the whole half, not enough training time, I’m Bee Yang, etc. What’s the point in that? I get it, I guess. You want to make sure you’re perfectly prepared for it but shit, that ain’t going to happen most of the time. I always show up under trained and under prepared but that’s on me. If I waited until I was perfectly ready, I’d never do anything (resume, working out, big list, lots of words).
I will rectify that for my next event (Bomber Bash Light) and yeah, it’s just a Light and how hard could it be? I will be more prepared for it, and well, LIFE mofos.