When You’re Sick Don’t Stop

We humans, we have a common experience… we all get sick. The common cold, the flu, injuries, illnesses, cancers, you name it: we all get these things. In my life I’ve had plenty of physical road blocks creep up and slow me down. Just this past summer, in July, August, and September I had to deal with tendinitis in my right ankle and foot, chest pain while working out (don’t worry… not my heart), and common colds. Through all these things I still went out in late September and had an amazing time at the Seattle Tough Mudder (contact me to join my 2016 team).

When I get sick, when I come up on a physical brick wall, I have to choose what I’m going to do about it. I have some options:

  • I can turn around and go back
  • I can just wait to see if it goes away
  • I can talk to other people to find out what they think about it
  • I can start climbing over the brick wall

I bet you can guess which one I generally choose… the climbing. The exception is, of course, where my wife or doctor can help me figure out the best way through the wall. You see:

I have goals I haven’t achieved yet and that means that I cannot afford to stop. I have to find a way to continue to make forward progress.



Take a minute and think about the last time you were sick or the last time you were hurt. Maybe it was physical, maybe it was mental, maybe it was at work, maybe it was in a relationship. Did that brick wall stop you from making forward progress toward your goals?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you will keep making progress in the same way as when you have complete control over your time and body. I’m saying that you cannot let that obstacle straight up stop you or worse yet, turn you back. Climbing a brick wall to get to the other side takes more time and strength and courage. Eventually you make it up and over and you move beyond it.

Maybe your approach to brick walls in your life is to turn back.

If so, I challenge you to make one small adjustment. Wait. Wait that brick wall out. Don’t let it turn you back. You might be able to get through that problem when you know more or when your body is stronger or when the weather changes. If you turn back you are quitting and you will never know… just wait.

Maybe your approach is that you stop and wait.

If this is you, I challenge you to start climbing that wall. It will slow you down but while you work to climb the wall you will get stronger in new ways. Climbing takes different muscles than walking or running. And, once you’ve cleared a couple, the next doesn’t seem so big or tall and over time you are able to get over walls you would never have made it over when you started.

The first golf balls were smooth. As those first balls was used they’re shape changed and they flew farther.

In your life, it is the challenges and the failures that define who you are and what you are capable of. I train in the winter because it makes training in the summer easy. I don’t over sleep because when it comes time to go all in for a few days my body is ready to answer the call. When I fail I take every ounce of learning from it and continue moving forward because failure is different than quitting. I stick with my wife and my family through bad times because it makes the good times so wonderful.

What if you kept moving forward when you were sick?



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Image: Steven Depolo on Flickr