Have you ever heard the expression “an ounce of quit?” I associate it with sports, some bandy-legged kid who has more determination than the rest of the team put together: “That kid don’t have an ounce of quit in him.” It’s a high compliment.
Last night, when I set the alarm for 5:01 a.m., I gave myself a pre-sleep suggestion: “Wake up feeling like a bad ass.” Don’t hit the snooze. Don’t sit there on the edge of the bed feeling tired and sleepy. Get your feet on the floor. Put on the clothes you’ve already laid out. Eat some protein and GO. It may be 13 degrees outside and you only had six hours of sleep, but GO. Don’t apologize, don’t half-ass it, don’t quit. GO.
And it worked. Until it was time to run.
When I run, I can’t escape the simple fact that I am carrying 40 lbs more than I carried back when I ran long distances. Try doing something you like with a large bag of dog food strapped to your back and see if it still feels the same. It doesn’t. Still, I forced myself to focus on each footstep, on one victory at a time. I didn’t think about anyone else in the gym–just myself. But my calves were screaming and I wanted to walk, just for a little bit. I wanted to quit.
That’s when another music moment happened. As I was rounding a corner, Kelly Clarkson belted out:
You ain’t got the right to tell me
When and where to go, no right to tell me
Acting like you own me lately
Yeah baby you don’t know a thing about me
You don’t know a thing about me
(from “Mr. Know It All)
I’d like to dedicate that song to the voice in my head. To Fartbuster. To every other person, including myself, who ever told me I wasn’t quite good enough. You don’t know a thing about me. So sit down and shut up.
I kept running. It was only a couple more minutes. I told myself, “You’ve done harder shit than THIS.” In my head, I heard a color commentary football announcer voice crowing, “She ain’t got an ounce of quit in her!”
The truth is, I have more than an ounce of quit in me. I have many many many ounces of quit in me! But “quit” is what I push out of my body every time I sweat. Every time I put my feet on the floor and remind myself to choose to be a bad ass.
I got inspiration this morning from some Wesleyan sisters who are bad muthas:
-Irene has lost 75.1 pounds and she ain’t quitting.
-Wyanne had to give up her tongue to beat cancer, but she kept her voice. She’s sitting up in bed today and painting–she ain’t quitting.
-Stephanie has spent 2 years learning how to walk again after she was almost killed by a driver who was texting. This fall, she and her horse made it to Nationals. She ain’t quitting.
-Kristina is going home from the hospital today after fighting her way back to life for the last two months. She’s going to be a teacher one day. She ain’t quitting.
Sometimes it’s so easy to quit, to slow down–or to never try in the first place. Don’t quit. Don’t let that little voice in your head that wants you to be less win. That voice may be inside your head, but it doesn’t know a thing about you.