It happens when nobody is watching. It’s just you, your thoughts, and that one final mile. Nobody is holding you accountable. Nobody is there to cheer you on. Nobody is there to encourage you. Nobody is watching. Twitter doesn’t care. Facebook doesn’t care. Some forum post doesn’t care. These people don’t know you anyway. What matters is you, right now, and you’re the only one who knows it. You’re the only one who knows what you have done; what you can do.
It’s staring you in the face; it’s saying “I am going to break you”, and you’re saying “Hell no you’re not.” You are 95% there, but that last 5% takes everything you have. It all comes down to this. 95% won’t get you anything in the end; stopping at 95% makes you a quitter. The job isn’t done, and the thought of giving up makes you sick to your stomach.
You know you have saved up a little bit, but is it enough? Is it enough to kick it up a notch for the final effort? This is when it all happens. This is when it truly matters. The rest of it is important, but this is the crux of it all. This is when everyone else breaks. This is when most let it all get to them. Those thoughts you have been dreading start creeping into your head. “I can’t finish this. There’s no way I can go any faster. Oh shit, this hurts so bad. I can’t breathe. Make it end. Make it stop.” The pain you’ve been staving off and denying starts to accumulate and your legs hurt, your breathing hurts, your head hurts. You’re hot, you’re uncomfortable, and you’re doing this to yourself. Why? What for? And while physically you are about to break, physically you may start to crack, it all comes down to your head. What will you do to combat those thoughts? What will you throw back at them?
“You have another gear.”
“Final mile. You can do anything for a mile.”
“This is when it counts. This is when all others give up.”
“Anything’s possible. Faster is possible.”
“You can do more than you would ever believe.”
“Fuck you, pain. Not gonna break me.”
“It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t hurt. Only 12 minutes. Only 6 minutes. Only 1 mile.”
“You can always go further. You can always go a little harder.”
“Don’t give up. DON’T QUIT.”
And you finish. It does end. You did go faster. Maybe not much, but you hung with it. You went faster than you expected; how did that happen? It feels so good to be done, everything still hurts, but damn, it feels good that you didn’t give up. You finished. Today, you are a little better than you were yesterday.