30 Days of Writing, Day 11: You Choose How the Story Ends

The story doesn’t end until you choose for it to end. I learned this story the hard way when I was still trying to develop my mind and my mental toughness.

In order for me to become a UP mountaineer, I needed to run 15 kilometers in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Because of my lack of preparation, both physically and mentally, I struggled mightily, and at one point, I yelled out in frustration to my friends who were helping me, “You don’t know how I feel!”

I felt really bad afterwards-not only did I let down those good people and myself, but I did it in an embarrassing fashion: by being a selfish and entitled asshole.

The very next day, I told myself, “This is not going to be the story of how I was being undisciplined in my exercise and ungrateful to the people who were trying to help me; this is the story of how I overcome a failure and work through it to become a UPM member.”

Thus began the next chapter of that story: I forced myself to learn how to bike to get some regular cardio, I forced myself to get tougher mentally by using that bike every day (even when it was raining, and even when it was hot), and I went on hikes with people I didn’t know so I’d be forced to get better in actual hiking and pacing myself.

Since that qualifying 15km run, I’ve experienced nearly every possible catastrophe in my athletic pursuits: crashes, bonking, extreme heat, leg cramps, ass cramps, sore shoulders on the bike, busted knees, and being physically unable to walk due to sheer exhaustion, but I’m proud of those, because those meant that it was my body that failed, and not my mind (oh and I’ve been fortunate enough to finish all the events I signed up for, anyway).

It’s okay for me to bring this embarrassing experience up, because it’s built me up to be a better athlete and a better person.

If you really want to achieve your goals, don’t let the failures in the middle of the process stop you: it’s okay to dwell on them for a short time, but pick yourself up, get better, and try again, because ultimately, you write the story of your life.