The Art of Quitting

 Quitting is disease that will affect all of us at some time in our lives. I call it a disease because although for most people it makes you feel a sense of ‘dis ease’ when you finally give in to it. Quitting does not discriminate. It does not care what race or gender you are. It does not care what clothes you wear or what car you drive. All it cares about is ruining your experiences of becoming successful and earning your right to be a champion of your life. It can easily become a habitual thing to do until one day you look back at yourself as somebody who is a nobody. The nobody who always quits when the going gets tough and has accumulated dozens of excuses to justify this habit.

 Here is a personal story of my encounter with the ‘disease’.

 I had been fighting for many years pushing hard to be selected onto the GB WAKO kickboxing squad. The world championships were run every other year with the European championships scheduled in the gap year. In my first outing on the team as the new kid on the block it was an eye opener for me and a steep learning curve. I never made the medal position, I ate some serious kicks but never ever let that disease come into my head. Instead I put my head down and continued the journey towards the next world championships in 2 years time. It was a tough but enjoyable journey every step of the way learning new things about myself and at the same time strengthening my character through the demanding training regime. It all paid off because at my 2nd outing I found myself on the rostrum with a bronze medal. I had a full time job, a part time job teaching and still found the time for my own training because I felt this desire to complete the journey and reach the destination. I came up with a few strategies that involved getting rid of some things in my life that were getting in the way. I stopped clubbing 3 times a week deciding to only party when I had accomplished goals to my satisfaction. This was working well as I was now a household name on the WAKO GB squad whilst at the same time fighting in other associations and winning world titles. And to top it off I was meeting many great inspiring people whose positivity and will to succeed was rubbing off on me. With confidence at its peak I was in year 6 on the team and my 3rd world championship attempt. I felt like it was owed to me and that I had paid my dues so approached every fight with a positive attitude and doing the right things at the right time. I found myself in the final feeling really confident because the fighter I was up against in the final had a fighting style very similar to fighters on the British circuit, and I was really sure that I was going to destroy him. On the day of the final the ref said fight and I ‘choked’ under the pressure and got totally battered. I came off from collecting my silver medal speechless. My coach looked at me and I looked at him. I said “That’s it, I’m done”. It was as if the disease jumped on me in my time of emotional weakness, punched me in the mouth, jumped in and started using my tongue to talk. “I’m giving up man; I can’t go through all that again for another 2 years!” There was silence for a while then my coach very casually said “Stop being so bl***y stupid. I refuse to let you quit. Plus you’ll win it next time anyway” I didn’t train for a few weeks but after a serious dose of ‘positive mental medication’ I managed to rid my mind of the disease and get back to the journey. My coach was right; I did win it the next time. It was a great life experience that I will never forget until I draw my last breath. I often look back and think to myself how lucky I am that my coach refused to let me quit.

 So parents, family & friends, please remember. No one really wants to be a quitter, but many people are.

Refuse to let them and enjoy sharing their success.

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