Well, today ended up being an exhausting day. I did get a lot accomplished thought.
First up, I had church this morning, followed by lunch with the usual crew.
After I got home, I attempted to cut the lawn while it wasn’t raining on us. I got a good chunk of it mowed before the battery died on the mower. I’m hoping that if the weather cooperates I can get the rest finished after I’m done at the store on Tuesday. Unfortunately today the lawn was just wet enough that it zapped the battery.
After I finished with the lawn, I took an hour and moved a stack of fire wood back up against the shed, from the middle of the yard where it was stacked during the fence construction.
After the wood, I pushed myself further, and did a three-mile workout on the treadmill, wanting to pull the plug the entire time. I didn’t though.
A quote that I heard recently kept circulating through my mind through all of this activity today.
“Don’t quit when you’re tired. Quit when you’re done.”
I originally heard this quote spoken by one of the David Goggins interviews I’ve seen on youtube, but I’ve been unable to find who this quote is actually attributed to. That doesn’t take away the impact of the quote however.
For most of my life, like many others in this world, I’ve quit things when effort was required. I’ve been unwilling to put in the effort to accomplish things,, often resulting in quitting before the job is done. I can see this pattern repeated throughout my life. At least on the surface.
Pulling back a few more layers, I quit the easy things, but I powered through the hard. Here, my mental illness is a prime example.
I’ve struggled. I’ve needed help more times than I care to count, but it was recently pointed out that I have resilience I never gave myself credit for before. Yes I’ve been suicidal. Yes I have actually attempted. Those attempts weren’t me giving up though. They were me being overwhelmed and wanting the pain to stop. Those attempts got me the rest I needed to recharge and stay in the fight.
This brings me to another quote, again with an unknown attribution.
“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit. “
To give my already fatigued body a rest for my workout, I did the three miles at a slower pace than I normally do. I was getting the exercise, but I wasn’t straining myself quite as much. That allowed me to finish my goal of three miles.
Our minds are our worst enemies.
If we hurt, if we feel discomfort, our brains are wired to protect us by removing ourselves from the activity. I know it’s true, my brain has been protecting me from hard work my entire life.
The SEALs have a saying.
“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.”
I’ve had a resilience my entire life that has kept me going through my life, even when I was too tired to go on. I pushed through things that nobody should have to witness. On the flip side, on the easy things, such as maintaining my weight, I gave myself a pass.
I was too tired.
It was too much effort.
I let myself have every excuse in the book to let me off the hook, and as a result even though I kept pushing through life, I was never able to challenge myself, and never able to succeed.
I’m finding the more I sweat in my day to day life, the more prepared I am for the challenges that arise. The theory holds.
As a result I’ve been able to push myself further than I’ve ever thought possible. the hard work in my training has made it so when I do get tired, when I do get ready to give myself a pass, I can push through, and finish what I start.
Whether it’s a writing piece, a workout, or moving a woodpile, I’m able to push through until the job is done, with my brain complaining at me the entire time, and for me that is a new experience.