Have you ever felt like quitting is your only option? Maybe there is something you really want to do, but the odds are stacked against you. Is there ever a time when giving up is the BEST thing to do?

It is 1 December 2015 and I’m about to start a new physical challenge. I’ve just completed my November challenge to run 111 miles in the month and my friend Matt, who invited me to join it, has now suggested I join another one.

This challenge is a little different. Squats and push ups. 5000 of them. In a month.

I like to make sure I build rest days into my training, so realistically this means about 200 reps per day. For me, and these exercises, that is quite a lot…

I start strong. 100 reps on the first day, another 200 on day 2 and 250 on day 3.

Day 4 is my first rest day.

The pattern continues, until around day 14 or 15.

I get busy and miss a couple of days.

It is day 17 and I am trying to make up for lost time. I do 500 reps.

Day 18 and unusually for me I feel like I have a cold coming; I have a bit of a sniffle and can feel mucus on my chest. I’m also feeling a little tired.

A couple of rest days will sort me out.

Day 21 and I have to force myself to keep resting. When I challenge myself I find it hard to back down and it feels like I may never catch up, but I still fell unwell.

Day 25, Christmas Day and I feel up to 25 reps. Not a lot, but every rep counts.

Day 26 and now I feel a lot better. I do 600 reps and have now achieved two thirds of my target. Maybe I can do this after all.

Then I wake up on day 27. There is too much mucus on my chest, so today is another rest day.

So is day 28…

Day 29 is when I realise my challenge is over.

I hate giving up, yet I know it is the right thing to do. There will be more months, more challenges.

Sometimes you just need to listen to your body (and your instincts) and know when quitting is the right thing to do.


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