I couldn’t help but reflect on the journey midway through an hour-plus long grueling workout. “Salt” as its known to our CrossFit Strong family, is a brutally long workout featuring 8,000m of running, 155 kettllebell swings, and 155 ring dips. I wasn’t even halfway through the workout, running (if you could call it that at my pace) back into the gym when those all-to-familiar sounds crept in.
You could quit now, you know? There’s a TON of work left. No one would blame you if you made an excuse and mailed it in.
I chuckled to myself and kept pushing on, slightly more determined to finish the workout. But each time I ran to that 400m mark and back, my mind reminded me how much “I” hated this long workout. “I” was simply the doubt of it ever ending and the fear of not completing talking louder in my mind than my own determination.
Suddenly, the conversation in my head was no longer about the current WOD (workout-of-the-day), but about my entrepreneurial journey. The last three and a half years have been anything but easy. It has felt like a constant “do-si-do” where a strong push forward is then countered with multiple retreating steps. Frustration has set in, especially the last few months, when, despite my knowledge that nothing ever really goes according to plan, nothing as really gone to according to projected plans. My stress levels have been through the roof. My spirits, anything but that at times.
But that’s all part of the journey. It’s like being four rounds into the ten round workout and just battling the thoughts in your head as much as finding the energy to keep moving your feet forward. It takes everything you’ve got to focus in on the task at head and let the outside noise dissipate. None of us have had an easy journey – be it an entrepreneur building his first (or fifth!) business, a single mother balancing raising children with work and a healthy lifestyle, or the patient who just received a cancer diagnosis. Each of us are in the midst of a daily battle. Our bodies want us to quit. The voices in our head tell us to let up.
But our hearts know we must Compete and keep going.
There’s only one way to finish those brutal workouts, overcome those devastating diagnoses, or pull yourself out of the hole you’ve dug with some poor decisions. Compete daily. Pull your pickaxe out and begin to chip away at the wall in front of you. One small step today. Another one tomorrow. It’s not a quick fix and it sure as hell ain’t over night. There’s no magic elixir or bazooka that’ll blow your problems away. There is however a solution found in grinding day in and day out. It may not be the prettiest option, but it’s how you fix the problem – and it’s how you win the battle in your life.
“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” – Thomas Carlyle
Perseverance is the key. Keep competing. Grind all the way to the finish line if you have to.