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Throwing in the Towel

Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel. Not on my whole life, of course, just some parts of it. Especially when the results I want aren’t in sight. 

It’s 4am and here I am: awake and tired. I love it when writing wakes me up, which it kind of did this morning. But I am just so tired from the way life is going right now that I don’t have any real energy to give to it. There are eras with running, too, when the most I have to give is to just show up and get through.  There is actually some real value in those eras, but I can almost never see it when I’m in them.   

It’s funny to me how writing mirrors running. In fact, running gave me writing, and it also paved the way for understanding how it was going to go. It’s sometimes hard to have faith that my being consumed with either of these things serves a purpose, especially when I have to measure success by own barometer and not by the barometers typically used to measure running & writing. Often the love and drive for running and writing are enough to give me traction, but not this morning. 

And that’s where throwing in the towel comes in.  

I think it can be helpful to entertain the idea of throwing in the towel, because you find out tout suite how you really feel. Whenever I feel like I’m at the end of my rope, I might calmly say to myself (or not so calmly declare) I’m done with this. I’m done running and trying so hard. I’m done continuing to make writing count—to carve out the time and go through the work of it. But every single time I get to that point, there is something in me that rises up without hesitation and says NOPE, not done. 

So then what? Well, then I fall back on the practice I’ve built. Not always graciously, but it doesn’t always have to be graceful or full of energy. It just has to happen. Resolve and a little faith in that voice that says NOPE go a long way, and so does gratitude and routine. I’ve learned that not giving up is moving the needle, but it’s an act of faith because I almost never feel that, know that, or see that until after the fact.  

And when all else fails, Winston Churchill comes to the rescue with this:  

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” 

Those are pretty clear instructions.  

So now it’s 6am. I’ll have a little more coffee; I’ll publish this post. I’ll turn my brain off and put my running shoes on. And today, even though I'm tired and have my doubts, I will not throw in the towel.