Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quitting is good

Some years ago I learned the saying "Winners never quit and quitters never win.". It was on a promotion show of network marketing firm. At that moment that sounded reasonable to me. How could you ever win if you quit everything prematurely? I was willing to win and to whatever it takes to succeed. -- Some months later I quit this company because I could not stand it any longer.

So I quit. But I would say, I won, though. Why? Because I'm happier not doing that strange job than doing that job. Money could not compensate how bad I felt during that time. I was in constant worry of talking to people, trying to sell them something I don't identify with. That sucked big time.

Last week I planned to hike all of the Rothaarsteig. 154.something km. I had some new trekking shoes, a great backpack a friend borrowed to me, I was in a good mood and well prepared for a one-week-long trip across the Sauerland.

On the second day, after about 42 km,  I quit. I felt very sad about my shortcoming. The moment I decided to go back home I felt like I give up something wonderful. I loved the hiking. But there was one big problem for me: The blisters on my feet. One on the right foot, two on the left one. When I started on the second day, it was not a problem. But slowly, without my full realization the blisters on my feet grew, making me walk slower and slower. When I arrived in Winterberg, (after 24 km) I could hardly walk. I hoped that eating something warm, having a good rest and eight blister pads would help me to go on. But they didn't. Thinking about my situation I called a friend and he said: "Blisters will become worse if you don't let them cure." And curing meant that I had to rest for two whole days or something like that. So I preferred to rest for the rest of the week near my wife and my children. So I quit.

Do I regret it? Kinda. Perhaps the blisters would have gone away and I could have keep hiking all of the remaining 112 km. Taking the train back home meant to me leaving this wonderful landscape waiting for me until next year:

But I think, being realistic, it would have just been a huge pain. I would not have embraced the loneliness, as I did on the first day. I would not have enjoyed walking up the Kahler Asten and being amazed by the view. I would have been whiny all the time and wish this sick trip would end as soon as possible. So it made absolutely no sense for me to go on.

So I have to say: Quitting was good. Being in an miserable situation, without any hope that the miserability will go away; Quitting is a viable option. Better than running deeper and deeper straight into your personal life hell.

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