Tag Archives: life lessons

A Life Lesson from Sports That’s Holding you Back Now

“Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” -Vince Lombardi

It’s a known fact in sports – if you want to get to the winner’s podium, then never quit.  Ever.

Why?  Because…

“Pain is temporary.  Quitting lasts forever.” -Lance Armstrong

Question for you though — Does this “don’t ever quit” mentality actually make sense?

Well…. if an athlete quit every time something got hard she’d NEVER improve, but her competition would be getting fitter and more skilled every day.  Quitting every time a challenge comes up means she’d never develop character (i.e. her work ethic would be shit) and she def wouldn’t stand a chance of winning come game time.

There’s a lot to be said for the “NEVER QUIT” mindset in sports.




I have another question for you – Just because something worked for us in sports, is it right to assume that it will work for us in the “real world” too??

Ummm… Hell no.

I know, I know.  Everyone talks about how sports can teach you all these important life lessons.  But what if a few of these lessons don’t translate as well to life after sports as people expect??

Have you ever thought about how the lessons you learned
in sports affect your life now?  Are there any you need to UNlearn?

Think on this with me for a minute…

If you’ve been in the “real world” for any significant length of time, you’ve probably figured out that you can’t eat the way you did while playing full time.  3,000 – 4,000 cals a day?  Not a chance, right?

So even though sports taught you lessons like high carb intake was good (pre-game carb up, anyone??) you’ve learned that eating that much doesn’t work when your training volume decreases and you get a “real job”.

A high calories diet was a learned mentality that you dropped when you entered the “real world”.

{{BTW if you struggled with trying to figure out how many carbs you should be eating, CARB REHAB will be opening up again for registration this fall.  Click this link now and provide  your name and email address to get on the wait list.  You’ll be the first to get info about it!}}

Sports taught us GREAT life lessons.  However like the high calorie diets, “NEVER QUIT” is a lesson we could afford to unlearn.

We need to learn that there are times when walking away is ok.  There are times when NOT finishing is the smarter option.

Here’s a quick example – I was mid-workout a couple weeks ago when the jello legs set in.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  I hadn’t lifted that heavy in quite a while, and midway through the workout my legs were shaking and on FIYAH.  Worst of all, my form was starting to go during the bulgarian split squats and those things done improperly can really mess you up.

I started to give myself a pep talk, “OK Hight, just two more sets each leg and then you’ll be done.  You can do this.  You’ve survived way worse so put on your big girl panties and FINISH IT!”

But as I pushed into that 3rd set, I knew in my gut it wasn’t a good idea.  I was going to hurt myself and I already knew I wasn’t going to be able to walk for days.

But I didn’t. want. to. quit.   I mean, I’m still an athlete at heart, so quitting sucks!!  It’s not an option!

Or is it??

When I quieted the inner pep talks, I heard that there was that little voice of reason telling me to respect my body…  Telling me to respect where I’m at right now.

Basically, it was saying BACK THE EFF OFF, HIGHT. :)

Standing there in my living room I finally realized that I’d spent my whole life in the “NEVER QUIT” mentality, and I wondered — What would happen if I decided that not finishing the workout  was perfectly ok?

Could I handle quitting? I wondered.

I stood there pondering.  Debating.  Contemplating.  Then I jumped.  Metaphorically of course.  :D

As it turns out, yes!  I could totally handle quitting.  That doesn’t mean it was easy though.  It was freaking hard to quit!!

And why wouldn’t it be?

Like most athletes I was coached to never quit, and lifelong habits are hard to, well, quit.

At first there was some guilt.  Strike that.  Massive guilt.  I mean I *could* have pushed harder.  Normally I would, wouldn’t you??  Honestly, at first I didn’t even want to use this as an example for this post because I felt a little ashamed.

We’ve always believed quitting is unacceptable, so if you
choose to quit something, shame may be right on your heels.
If that happens, reach out!!  Shame only thrives in our silence.

But seriously, what would it have gotten me to finish those sets?  I was already going to be super sore from the workout, so there wasn’t any point in making myself miserable for the next week.   Not to mention the fact that pushing further could’ve gotten me injured again.  No thanks.  Four knee surgeries is more than enough!

Needless to say, I was GLAD I quit.

Oh and here’s another little bonus – because I backed off, I was able to stick to my training schedule and work my legs again 2 days later.  Had I tried to finish that first workout, there was no way DOMS would’ve subsided enough to train again that week.

Do you get what I’m saying?

Now make no mistake – this isn’t a suggestion to quit every time the going gets tough.  You won’t get anywhere in life that way because it is often in challenges where we experience the most growth.  It IS a suggestion though to respect where you’re at in the present moment.

Have you pushed yourself far enough in this workout?  Then quit.

Are you nursing an injury?  Then cut yourself some slack and rest.  Heal that body.

Have you been running on overdrive trying to make everything happen?  Pick one thing to take off your plate.  Pay someone to do it or get a family member or friend to help you out.

Respect yourself by respecting where you’re at.

No offense to Vince or Lance, but sometimes the best way to respect yourself is to quit.


What do you think about quitting?  Is there ever guilt or shame around it for you?

<3 Lauren