“Don’t quit,” they always say, as if it were the easiest advice to follow, as if it were the easiest thing to do—or not do. “Don’t give up. Go on. Fight harder,” they cheer, they clamor, they shout, but oh, how they shout because they’re on the sidelines, and it’s so very easy to say those words when you’re just there, just standing there, cupping your hands in front of your mouth and bellowing good vibes like it’s the end of the world.
But when you’re in the arena, when it’s your body that’s giving up and it’s your spirit that’s breaking, it’s so, so tempting to just give up and quit. When every breath takes its toll on you and your mind cannot fathom why you are fighting and struggling and trying in the first place, it’s so hard to go on. When it’s you who’s grappling for victory—and losing—it’s so easy to just drop everything and give up.
And you can, you know. Give up. Quit. But once you quit, you can kiss your victory good-bye, and you’ll forever be just standing there, in the middle of an empty arena, haunted by the ghosts of the people who once egged you on towards victory, and you realize that the shouts and cheers and cries that once annoyed you are better than the echoes of defeat.
Karren Renz Seña
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