Wednesday, 28 June 2017

On giving up

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." - Thomas A. Edison

I discovered this quote way too late in life. Or perhaps I just wish that I'd learnt the lesson sooner? Be that as it may, Mr Edison's words are strongly resonating with me these days. Because forty years of living has taught me exactly the same thing: Success cannot happen when you give up.

Rewind to two weekends ago and what was supposed to be my very last attempt at a sub-50 minute 10K [insert eye-roll here]. Everything was perfect: A flat course, ideal weather and a free entry. What could go wrong, right? Ha! 

A perfectly paced Porirua parkrun a week before the goal race...

After weeks (and I mean WEEKS!) of successfully resisting the kids' flu bugs, my body chose race-day morning to finally give in. I woke up with aching limbs, burning lungs and a general feeling of blah. Are you kidding me?!

So I did the unthinkable: I skipped the race and stayed in bed. Will couldn't believe his eyes. He even asked if I felt feverish, which, in fact, I did. So in hindsight it was definitely the right decision. Always keep sight of the bigger picture, right?
Which brings me to my burning question: When is it okay to give up? Or, more specifically, when can I bury my sub-50 10K goal with my head held high? (I've been unsuccessfully chasing this dream for almost seven years now, by the way.) May we give up when we lose interest? (Which, in my case, I haven't.) Or can we quit when circumstances leave us no choice but to throw in the towel? (I'm not getting any younger, ahem...) Or do we simply keep on trying until we die? What do you think?

Soooo darn close.

I think that for me the answer lies herein: Passion. Is the passion still there? Yes? Then keep on trying. 

Personally I'm just not ready to give up on that sub-50 dream yet, lofty as it may seem. Yes, I'm not 25 anymore. And yes, the chances of reaching it are getting slimmer by the day. But the fire's still burning - strongly. So I'll keep on trying.

So yes, for now the goal is still in the back of my mind. I might not proclaim it over the interwebs quite as boldly in future. And I definitely won't include it in my yearly list of running goals going forward. But by Jove, I'll keep on trying.



  1. I think you give up if it no longer matters to you. And I think it's great that, in whatever way, you're still holding on to this one. I have a positive feeling that you will reach it - you're so close!

  2. Goeie post, Saar! Laat mens diep wonder... Maar ek dink nie daar bestaan 'n ding soos opgee vir ons nie, inelkegeval sal ons dit nooit sĂȘ nie. Ons sal eerder harder probeer of anders probeer of iets groters aanpak, en dan sal dit welliswaar nie meer saakmaak dat ons nie die vorige doelwit bereik het nie. Maar tot en met daardie dag weet ek sal ons altyd 'nog een keer probeer'. En ek weet jy sal hom klap een van hierdie goeie dae! Xxxx

    1. Dankie, liefste Saar! En ek dink jy's heeltemal reg. Daar kom partykeer negatiewe- en twyfel-dae (oor hardloop en ander doelwitte en drome) waar mens so amper-amper besluit jy kan nou nie meer EEN keer weer probeer nie, maar na 'n goeie nagrus besef mens maar altyd weer jy sal NIE opgee nie. [Of ish dit net ek?!] Soos 'n hardnekkige chihuahua aan 'n broeksoom, heeeeeeeee! Baie liefnis! xxxx

  3. Stoke up the passion Karien. Let's have a bit more of the "I can and I bl--dy well will". With all your experience of course you can run a sub 50 minute 10K. Here's rooting for you....

    1. Your words just made me more determined than ever. Thanks, Gordon - I needed to hear that!


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