Embrace the Suck and Conquer It

I first heard the phrase "Embrace the Suck" from Chris "Macca" McCormack, a two-time Ironman World Champion and it really resonated with me. In the world of endurance sports, the term "Embrace the Suck" is very prevalent. You can go through some really dark, miserable, and painful moments that embody the 'suck'. You can go back and forth in your head about whether or not you want to quit. Quitting would be easy and the pain would go away but the lingering thought of 'what if I didn't quit' would ring in your head. A sense of emptiness and disappointment fills your mind and soul. Despite the agony and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel we push forward, one step at a time until the glorious finish line when they say, "You are an Ironman". That still gives me goosebumps. You also realize what you accomplished takes a lot of grit, mental toughness, and grit.


Like a lot of things in life, we have to go through the 'suck' in order to get what we really want.


While things seem to suck, we can look at it two ways, and opportunity or quitting. If we see it as an opportunity, we own it, accept it, and realize that we're going down the right path. We realize that things are really hard, we're battling day in and day out. We have a vision and although we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, we're moving in the right direction. We find solutions to obstacles, overcome adversity, and develop our mental toughness and fortitude.


On the other hand, the minute we feel resistance, ridicule, or doubt from ourselves or others, we bail. Once things get hard we take the quick and easy way out. We settle for 'doing our best' when in reality, was it really our best? That's an internal battle that's tough to get over. When we aren't willing to embrace the hard stuff and show up for ourselves and others we aren't going to grow.


There are those that fight hard throughout the race and even after the race cut off at midnight, still continue to move forward and cross the finish line. Even though on paper it says 'DNF', in my book, they are winners.


I would much rather have a 'DNF' - did not finish than a DNS - did not start


What challenges are in front of you that you know are going to require you to 'embrace the suck'?

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