Is there such a thing as knowing when to quit? Is there a point that you reach in your pursuit of the muscle-up, or the L-Sit, or the bodyweight snatch or whatever in life, where you know that it just isn’t going to happen? That it’s not going to work? That you might as well give up and move on to the next thing? A point where your bull-headed pursuit of something is now actually detrimental to your well-being?
Maybe you don’t innately have the strength or the athleticism or the coordination or the flexibility. Maybe you’d have to lose 50lbs to be able to do a double-bodyweight deadlift. Maybe you’d have to gain 15 lbs of muscle to have enough upper-body strength to complete that muscle-up. Are these legitimate reasons to quit your pursuit of that particular goal? Or are they excuses?
See there’s the rational mind and the indomitable spirit. A lot of us can simply will ourselves to keep going long after the rational mind has told us, begged us, pleaded with us, to stop. But we keep going. And that’s a noble pursuit, not giving into the weakness. We take pride in our ability to conquer ourselves.
But when does our nobility turn into stupidity? Or does it ever? Is there a point where we should give up? Is there a spot where the smarter person analyzes, regroups, and redirects their effort toward an attainable goal? And how do you know you’re at that spot and not just being weak?
Ever see the movie “Aliens”? There’s a part in the beginning where Ripley is driving them out of the danger zone and she’s so dogged in her pursuit of her goal, so determined, that she fails to realize they are now out of danger and she’s pretty much wrecked the vehicle. They have to apply the brake and pry her hands off the wheel because she’s not thinking rationally anymore.
Where is the Ripley Point in the gym? In sports? In love? In life? When does it make more sense to stop than to continue?