Going The Distance
May 11, 2020
And now, an article from OS Coach, Rick Vittum:
If you, like me, are a huge fan of the Rocky movies, you will recognize the phrase (and song) “Going the Distance.” In the first Rocky movie the goal was not to beat Apollo Creed. Instead, Rocky had his own personal goal. He wanted to do something no one had ever done before. He was determined to go the distance of 15 rounds with the Heavyweight Champion of the world. He wanted to know for himself if he was more “than just another bum from the neighborhood.” He centered his training around this mantra and had a clear vision of what he wanted to do.
The 14th round of the fight revealed Rocky’s “no quit spirit” to the whole world and especially to the champion himself. If you remember, Rocky’s eyes were swollen shut, his hands were heavy, and he was just barely hanging on from the barrage of punches from Apollo. He was knocked to the canvas, again! His manager was yelling “stay down, stay down!” His girlfriend couldn’t watch the beating and turned her eyes. Even Apollo raised his hands in what he thought was the final victory. At that moment, Rocky does everything humanly possible to climb back to his feet, regardless of what everyone is telling him or how much pain he was in. After standing and facing Apollo, he gestured with his gloves and muttered, “come on.” Apollo shook his head in disbelief. He knew he could not break the will of his opponent.
Rocky's "no quit spirit" is in all of us, even if we all don't realize it. It's there because we need it. During this Pandemic we must not let our spirit be broken. Even though our “normal” has been changed, and our economy is taking a beating we must continue to endure. We CANNOT QUIT! And we shouldn't. We, like Rocky, are made to endure and overcome.
The "no quit spirit" is in all of us. I often use training sessions to nurture and strengthen my own. It can be good to purposefully endure a hardship or challenge to develop some grit about ourselves. One of many workouts inspired by John Brookfield and Tim Anderson that I currently do embodies this type of tenacity. In my workout, I determine a specific distance I am going to spiderman crawl. I set the distance far enough so that it is just a bit further than what I have ever done before. My goal is to reach the end. No exceptions.
I crawl till I'm done. I keep my mind set on finishing no matter how long it takes, no matter how my lungs burn, no matter how much my body wants to quit. I’m going the distance! No matter how tough it is, it always feels amazing when I complete my goal. And it leaves me knowing that I have a "no quit spirit."
It's good to test and strengthen our "no quit spirit" from time to time. It keeps us resilient. I encourage you to find a way to strengthen yours. Now to be clear, you don’t need to do the exercises I do. You can challenge yourself outside of your comfort zone with any exercise you choose. But test yourself. Strengthen your resolve. Set a goal just beyond your previous best, whatever that might be. And then reach for your new best and don't quit until you reach it.
Strength training really can be a vehicle that helps us overcome hardships out in the world. It can help us develop physical hardness but also mental resolve, a "no quit spirit." It can also bring us together and allow us to offer our strength to others. After all, what good is strength if we cant use it to help our neighbors?
Keep your head up everyone! And like Rocky, if need be, keep getting back up, again and again. Don't stop. Even if you hear the bell, keep going.