“Just remember, it never gets easier… you just get faster.”
Among everything I should have retained in high-school, this sentence has endured. Words of wisdom from, of all places, my mountain bike coach in 9th grade. I recall it vividly; I was nearly full-fetal, drooping over my knees at the finish line of what was only my 3rd or 4th race of my career, gasping for air, ingesting as much horrid ‘e-load’ fluid (a gritty, inferior Gatorade) as I could. My blood in a slow surge down my shins, and abrasions canvasing the rest of my body. Needless to say, I had seen better days.
My coach Mike approached me, gathering my mud-covered bike from the ground. With one hand on the seat, another grasping the brakes, his head raised, he reassured me that racing never gets easier, you just get faster, and faster. Pain will always be prevalent, you need to persist, its the only way to excel.
Those words, though seemingly bleak and lacking promise, have endured with me for nearly 15 years. The charm of it is the applicability to every aspect of life. If we truly reflect, life never does get easier, but we learn, we improve ourselves, and we continue advancing to the next challenge.
If you’re really hungry about anything, from relationships to starting a business, or pushing your fitness forward, it will never get easier…you will just get better.
The only time life becomes easy is when we stop challenging ourselves. Cease forward motion, and halt our personal development. Looking back on my racing days, those words only rang true when I was seeking advancement. If I had stopped chasing this success, yes, the race would have become much easier, but to what benefit?
Whether you’re building a business, training for a marathon, or chasing a dream, don’t give up. It’s not going to get easier, hell, it’s presumably going to get tougher for a while, but in the end, you’re going to be looking back with immense satisfaction at what you’ve accomplished.
With those words in my back pocket, I went on to win several races, and by the end of my high-school career was ranked in the top 15 in Ontario. It never got easier.
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You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @mrae19.