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The Discipline of Walking Away

Sometimes you make the lift and sometimes you miss. That’s just the gym—and life.

We talk a lot about perseverance, about continuing when everyone else would quit. That’s important, really important, because the successful don’t give up easily.

But sometimes you have to give up. Quit. Walk away. Throw in the towel. Sometimes, the smarter thing to do is abandon the fight—in the gym and in life.

What? Huh?

Let me explain: Fighting and struggling is still cool, but using your brain is even cooler.

If the cost of your action is greater than the benefit, walk away from that lift, from that problem, from that situation. Use your head. Assess what you’re going to gain from trying just one more deadlift, just one more push jerk, just one more snatch when you’re already in a seriously fatigued state.

If the risk is worth the reward, go for it. If it’s not, be strong enough to walk away.

There’s a saying: the smart dog knows when to obey, but the smarter dog knows when to disobey. Well, the smart athlete knows when to lift, but the smarter athlete knows when to leave the platform.

I’m not saying quit early. I’m saying use your brain and quit at the right time. Be strong in mind, as well as body. Sometimes the greater gain awaits you on another day.

(Image courtesy of Nicole Bedard Photography.)

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