Quit It To Win It

by julie on May 25, 2012

I QUIT! In less than one mile. I felt more exhausted than after finishing the Boston Marathon.

How could this be? I was scheduled for one of my hardest training workouts for MWRR, yet I was truly running on empty.  

Oddly, this was not an episode of EDS (excessive daytime sleepiness) associated with narcolepsy, I’d taken my trustworthy 6:45-7:30pm nap before hitting the gym. My head felt clear without any weight on my skull – but my body was dead tired, maybe from over-training.

I walked on the treadmill and drafted my “quitting” blog post in my head: “Sometimes quiting takes more strength than moving forward…”

I was about to STOP, but then, I dunno, time passed…
I walked 4 minutes.
Ran 1 minute. 
Walked 2 minutes.
Ran 2.
Walked 3.
Ran 4.

On and on… At some point, I quit quitting.  

About 80 minutes after giving up, I found myself 3,000 feet in the air and 5.6 miles from the start line. I’d virtually “climbed” the Empire State Building TWICE  – making the night I quit – the farthest and highest I’d ever run/climbed in my life!  

So, if you face an insurmountable challenge – I suggest you consider quitting (knowing you can quit your quiting at any time too!)

For me, quitting released my expectations for the future and re-set my focus in the present. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the daunting “bigger picture.” Likewise, it’s tempting to get swept away by a single sensation of discomfort and forget that it will pass. 

Each moment offers one and only choice: to quit or take one more step forward. You may surprise yourself when the steps add up! 

Please note: If I experience narcolepsy symptoms on the treadmill, I do not push through if I believe I am in any danger. Exercise is not a cure for my narcolepsy symptoms.  Running on the verge of EDS or cataplexy could be dangerous. Safety first. Namaste!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Saraiah May 31, 2012 at 2:00 am

Letting go often opens up possibilities that I can’t even see when I’m determined to achieve a particular outcome. When you run, we people with narcolepsy run right there with you. Thanks for running for all of us!

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julie May 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Thank you so much, Saraiah! Thank you for reminding me that people with narcolepsy are there with me and supporting my efforts. I’m proud and honored to be raising funds for research and attempting to break down barriers for all people with narcolepsy. Cheers, Julie

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Jill May 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Hi Julie,

How ironic. The day I read this I was hit hard with EDS and it didn’t let up all. By the time I could leave work, I was struggling to hold my head up. So needless to say, I missed my run entirely. Which is scary as I’m running a full marathon in about three weeks.

I could relate to your post as there has been several times I haven’t felt good on a run and all I had to do was slow down for awhile. You’re right, it often passes and before you know it you’re done! You’ve quit quitting. (I love your phrase and plan to use that a lot!) 🙂

Keep on keeping on! 🙂

Reply

julie May 31, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Thank you so much for your comment, Jill! Your determination to keep going despite EDS to run marathons is amazing and inspirational! We will just keep going on and on with what each day presents. With gratitude and smiles, Julie

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