Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 114 of 365: The Allure of Quitting

I've been dealing with locked calves for almost a month now. It's frustrating, because, according to my running calendar, I was scheduled to finally hit 16 miles by Thanksgiving. Now, I'm toddling along at 6 or 7 miles while constantly worrying about pulling a calf muscle. It makes running a huge to-do in terms of prep work. Add to that the snow that keeps coming (and always day I want to run...) and it seems really inviting to just eat the $70 registration fee and stop running for a while.

The same with my book. I've been going into the last few scenes completely blind, and I hate that. I'm only five days out from finally being done with NaNoWriMo this year, but the idea of churning out 5,000 in the dark is frightening. The last few days, I've been writing a few hundred words at a time, constantly updating NaNoWriMo to see just how much I had to do before I got my minimum in. It seems really inviting to say, "Well, 25 out of 30 ain't bad," and call it a month.

In the words of Ron White, "Like my mama always said: that boy's got a lot of quit in him." It's way too easy to give up when things get tough, when you find yourself investing more than you bargained for. There are so many reasons why you could stay exactly where you are and stop trying so damn hard. There are always so many reasons why you should stay in a job you hate, stay in a town you you hate, avoid taking that risk, and so on, and so forth.

But that's what separates an interesting life from a mediocre life. That's what separates a person who lives in their hometown with a job they've had since high school from the person who ventures off and experiences new things and builds an amazing career.

My third example: I've been trying to find more studios to take me in as a tai chi instructor. I thought I had a great lead with a karate dojo a week or so back, but it's been radio silence since our follow-up emails. Part of me really likes the idea of not even searching for new studios. Part of me loves the idea of just quietly stepping away when the yoga studio I currently work at folds and just doing my own thing. But that's the same part of me that loves the idea of not running, of not writing, of giving up projects before they can even start.

So I'm off to lace up my shoes, run in this cold, snowy environment, and come back to write my 1,000 words. Maybe I'll even contact a few more studios. Because quitting is not an option.

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