For many athletes, the character gained, the lessons learned, the talent built, it all stems from rising above life’s challenges. For many, this occurs early on in life. For many, the struggle is all they know, just to survive the day to day involves ingenuity, stubbornness, belief, and drive. For many, there comes a point of realization, when one has overcome so much and not by choice that one can also always rise above by choice.
This internal moment of recognition opens an entirely new arena of possibilities and exposure to one’s potential. The challenge changes from mere survival, the developing of basic discipline and character and skill; to the challenge of just how high, how far, how fast can one’s mind and body go?
This is when quitting becomes impossible.
It simply is no more. It is not about whether you will or you won’t, yes you can or no that’s just not possible. For you’ve crossed the threshold to being a real athlete. You will. You can. These things you no longer doubt or question. You know you are capable of so much more. The question now is how?
Those basics of being an athlete, the learning to show up daily, of working hard, staying focused, building a positive mindset, learning respect and trust, now, all seem like child’s play. Now, now it is about honing in, the fine tuning of the slightest of details, maximizing output, and finding out what lies just beyond reach. Then it is figuring out how to get there. With finesse, with guts, with honor.
The real athlete is the one who has struggled, who has had to question, who has had to learn how to be stronger, faster, and wiser. The real athlete has faced their soul in the mirror’s reflections so many times, that living with conviction (making decisions based on values/principles) becomes as easy as tying a shoe.
That ceiling, the limitations and feedback others place upon you, is just that, theirs. Others have no idea just how big you think, what you know you are capable of and that you have no limitations. Quitting doesn’t exist for you. Not for the real athlete.
There may be recovery periods, even quick vacations, or moments away to try new avenues. But quitting, the word doesn’t register a meaning. In fact, quitting may be the only true impossibility. This is especially true for those who’ve endured the hard road of struggle. Quitting, it just doesn’t exist. Not an option.
Achieving that new goal, that higher level – it will happen. The how is the adventure, going over, under, around, or straight through. Experience, trial and error, a learning mindset quickens the process and reduces the setbacks.
The only one you answer to is you. The only mindset you listen to and fuel – is one of Yes. The fun in the challenge lies in the pursuit of how.