Giving up

Last weekend I went for a hike. It was an organized event which started very early in the morning, about 5am. One hour to get there meant that my alarm clock started at 3:30am to convince me to get up. The plan was to hike a distance about 63km and an attitude difference of 1700m within 14-15 hours. So far so good. I have been motivated and prepared and wanted to make this a success.

Unfortunately it started to rain right after I started. So I had at least 10 dry minutes. From there it did rain more than five hours continuously, sometimes more, sometimes less, but constantly. Some heavy rains in between in combination with heavy wind made the entire thing an interesting experience. Soon there wasn’t any dry piece of cloth on me anymore. Luckily I had water-proof hiking shoes, but as I found out this doesn’t really matter if the water flows down the legs directly into the shoes. At least they proved to be water-proof since the water stayed in there all the time and made a nice noise with each step. Funny thing is, shoes and cloths increase in weight when wet and so I carried a lot of water with me. It didn’t take long until I started freezing, which was okay as long as moving, but the cold sneaked in slowly. After about 6 hours I had lost the feeling within my fingers and couldn’t move them as I wanted anymore, which turned out as issue regarding bio breaks. Next time I’ll go for zippers instead of buttons 😉

This had been the signal for me to give up, to stop the event after only 27km. I knew if I continue I will suffer through it, I will finish it even if I ruin my health with it. So I decided to stop, to call a taxi and to drive back. Well, the taxi driver wasn’t really amused to drive such a wet, drenched and dripping guy. But you have no idea how hard this decision was for me, to give up, to skip something I wanted to do. But why? Yes, it has been the right decision to stop, it’s logical. The theory is very clear, but why is it so damn hard to implement that theory? I still feel bad about it and I am still angry at myself for not finishing it. Stupid, isn’t it?

So what could be the reason. Money? Okay, I paid some money for this event, but that’s not the reason. Getting up early? Why should it bother me? There are other reason, unconscious ones. One of them is my ego. Giving up something I wanted to do hurts the ego and hits my self-respect. But I think even this are symptoms of something deeper. One of the reasons is my main driver, which is the “be strong” driver. Somehow I have over-developed this basic setting for reason I am starting to understand slowly. Nonetheless it influences my behavior dramatically. I have trouble to show weaknesses, I feel uncomfortable not to be good in things I do. I am ready to suffer to accomplish. I am trying to accomplish things others don’t. I have a need to appear strong, even if I am not. And this comes in company with another basic setting of mine. I have a certain need for appreciation, maybe more than others, maybe I was lacking more than others. And this kind of events gives me appreciation. Sports in general gives me appreciation and especially sports where I am good in.

Now the be strong attitude and the appreciation need come together, giving a dangerous mix which makes me behave as I behave. Understanding these mechanisms, understanding the root cause where they are coming from does only help to a certain degree since they trigger my behavior patterns unconsciously. If I focus and analyze constantly I can see and correct my actions, but if I don’t do this consciously, I will fall back into my default patterns quite fast. Well, I followed these drivers for years, how can I expect to change them within months? So, I am still angry because I didn’t finish the tour, but I take it with a smile 🙂

Life is beautiful, isn’t it?

One thought on “Giving up”

  1. Don’t be sad! This wasn’t a once in a lifetime event like the birth of a child. That is, you didn’t miss anything that you couldn’t do also next time. So, don’t invest too much thoughts on that subject. Instead you should focus on how to avoid such situations. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect nothing! And you know what to think about hope 😉

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