I went running the other day. To some that may be an everyday habit, I assure you, for me it is not. I don’t care to run unless it is perfect weather and I want to be outside, this was one of those days. I started out and was feeling pretty good a mile in, after mile two I was still feeling alright so I decided to go for a 3 mile! About a tenth of the way into the third mile I started feeling it… I felt like I hit a wall, my side started hurting, and everything went to pot. However! I refused to stop, I was determined to go a full three miles, or until my body failed. I was not going to let my mind stop me!
Quitting is an option for many, particularly in America. We have developed a society that encourages easy living and removal of hardships. While that is nice in many ways, it has softened us as a society. When things get hard we quit or change the rules. Guess where quitting is not an option, ever? Go ahead, take a minute and think about it before you read on. You think you got it? If you said self-defense, combat or some equivalent then you nailed it! If you are in a fight for your life, you better believe you opponent(s) is not going to just stop and walk away because you are tired or hurt. If you need a lesson on not quitting no matter what read Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell or watch the movie.
Just because you are hurt, tired, or just don’t feel like it, stopping is not an option. A fight for your life typically only lasts a few seconds. In a fight 15 seconds feels like 15 years but the reality is it is only a short time. Training hard and as realistically as possible to create stress and elevated heart rate comes into its own here. Mimicking real life scenarios is great as long as you are careful to avoid the injury side of reality. This simulation assists in fixing the perceptual change that comes with high stress situations. Like most everything else, exposure can lead to desensitization. In this case, that is a good thing.
I have yet to experience anything so exhausting as fighting… It wears a body (and mind) out! It makes you want to quit because you can’t breathe, your heart rate is 150+ BPM, it hurts, and it can be scary. We must train in a controlled and safe environment in order to help us overcome this fear and desire to quite. We are hard-wired to run away from danger. Look at nature for this. The list of animals and insects that go right to combat before first retreating is rather short. I say regularly and will say it again here: If a fight can be avoided, avoid it, however, if you must fight with extreme violence and ferocity!
Don’t take my word for how important preserving is. Look up survival stories and decide for yourself the resounding theme of survivors: Perseverance. You will not read quotes of: “It just got so hard and I was hurting pretty bad, so I just stopped fighting, I quit, thankfully the guy trying to hurt me saw I was tired and walked away”. Nope! You will see this however: “I couldn’t breathe, and I thought I was dying, but I was not going to let this scumbag take me away from my family!”.
Perseverance is a resounding theme for success not only in this realm of self-defense but also in business, relationships, and life in general. The decision to not give up may be hard, it may hurt, but at the end of the day if it is worth fighting for, it is worth persevering for!
What can we learn?
- The second quitting becomes an option, it becomes an inevitability
- Don’t quit, like seriously, don’t quit, ever!
- It may hurt, it may be scary, we may not have asked for it, but we must persevere through it anyway.
- If it is worth fighting for, it is worth persevering for!
- Train, practice, learn, repeat!