There are times to stand your ground: Don’t back down

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On Tuesday night, I stared at the punching bag in front of me and felt totally depleted. Not only did I not have any physical strength, I didn’t have any emotional strength. I wanted to whine, whimper and even cry.

I wanted to back down.

Thankfully, I had a partner on the other side of the bag who looked at me with steely eyes. I know she was tired too. She had just come through a challenging health situation, and was hurting.

And the thought came in my head:

This is the time to build my strength.

There are times when you truly need to rest, to restore your energy, and to be gentle with yourself.

And there are times when you need to look that metaphorical (or literal) punching bag in the eye and say:

“I may be weak, I may feel like shit, I may want to scream and cry in frustration … but I won’t. I may be lying on the floor, but I will still punch you. My strength is being cracked wide open in this moment when my weakness wants to choke me.”

I won’t back down.

Tonight, two days after not backing down, I felt stronger. My punches and kicks were faster. I jumped higher. I felt my backbone straighten.

Tom Petty has it right.

Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out.

Hey, I stand my ground.

And I won’t back down.

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10 Responses to “There are times to stand your ground: Don’t back down”

  1. […] is probably why my time back in martial arts has inspired so many blog […]

  2. […] training athletes to help her own clients achieve success. She also doesn’t mind when I get old school cranky about how people need to stop looking for quick fixes in business, and get back to the basics of […]

  3. […] Her writing frequently inspires & energizes me. But this week, her post about “not backing down” rang so powerfully true. It was a lovely reminder that sometimes, even when we are tired, we […]

  4. […] this morning another article from Pamela Slim at Excape from Cubicle Nation. “There are times to stand your ground: Don’t back down” caught my attention because it reminded me of a post we had here at Extreme John not too […]

  5. Eric Bryant says:

    This is an amazing post! I’ve been hitting the wall, repeatedly with my head… really, knocked down. About 10 days ago made this same decision, to push through, and that Tom Petty song popped into my head and I adopted it as my theme song for this season. It was quite amazing to see it laid out here, like, I thought of it and about the same time you created it. Very inspiring! Thank you!


  6. fas says:

    Once a person has determination, nothing else matters. if you think u can, u definitely can.

  7. Robert says:

    A reminder I definitely needed as I think about the run and strength training I have to do in the morning. Yet so true, the times when we’re the most vulnerable & fight through, those are the times when we benefit the most from it.

  8. Fantastic post. Such a great reminder.

    Brought to mind two things:

    1. The song ‘Stand Back Up’ by Sugarland.
    2. The idea that muscles are made stronger by breaking them down. You have to create micro-tears so additional muscle tissue can be created from those tears. You literally have to work through your weakness to get stronger.

    Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  9. Great post, and very timely, as I was just speaking to a client about this very thing. He needed to know whether or not to keep going, despite feeling exhausted, and the question that seemed to help him decide was:

    “If I could remove this obstable for you instantly, and that would also remove whatever was waiting on the other side of the obstacle – would you want me to do it?”.

    He didn’t. I guess sometimes we just know that it’s “more strength” that lies on the other side of an obstacle – and that’s what keeps us going when we feel like giving up.

  10. It’s hard to tell the fight someone has in them by just observing them when things are good. It’s when they’re tired, exhausted, depleted, and broken that you see the fighters emerge.

    None of us want the challenges of life, but they’re what make us stronger. And I enjoyed experiencing another of moment of you displaying your strength, sis. 🙂