Recently I was reading through a series of comments on finding the best trail running partner and came across this comment:
“I look for the people who had a terrible childhood. They really know how to punish themselves and they’re usually really nice….”
I laughed so hard. I laughed because that made perfect sense to me and I completely relate. On my 25 mile trail run days or 24 hour mountain climb objectives, I am able to tap into those deep dark areas that tell me I can finish and make it back to the car because I have emerged from some frightening places and terrible situations. Scraped up knees or bloody toes from steep fast descents don’t even measure up to the time you punched me over and over in the face because I didn’t say sorry for spilling my cereal.
Long before you are physically depleted, you become mentally exhausted. The mind begins to allow thoughts of doubt and weakness. Once those thoughts begin to embed, you begin to look for ways to stop or not push on. How easy it would be to slow down, stop or take a little rest? It’s easy to stop our consistency or stop pushing for our goals. You have to remind yourself that the “finish” feels so much more mentally satisfying than quitting or easing up on your goals or challenges and quitting becomes a nasty nagging reminder.