PRE-SOCCER GAME MONKEY BARS TIME!
I’m here to announce the Tornado has quit soccer.
And I encouraged it.
The thing is I’m a big believer in quitting.
A quit’advocate if you will.
A woman who’s BRAZEN enough to stand up and say she DOESN’T agree with the adage:
A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.
I also believe–and this is why I happily encouraged an 8 year old Tornado to quit soccer in a way Id not have at 6–quitting is a great deal like intuitive eating:
If we are wholly honest with ourselves we *know* if fear or laziness is motivating our desire to abandon pursuit of our goal.
I’ve quit many, many things in my 44.5 years and with hindsight I regret none of them.
I quit bodybuilding.
I do, however, have a checklist of sorts I go though before I commit to the quit.
An exercise which serves as a way to be certain I’m not quitting out of fear and ceasing the activity/project is the right course of action.
The process is a simple one. I merely hold the “thing” I want to quit up to these three ideas:
1. Just because something was once important or goal of mine does not mean it still is. I remind myself it’s OK to shed good habits!
2. Quitting gives me space for new experiences. If I’m holding on tightly with both hands—I cannot receive more.
3. Quitting is the ultimate in self-care and intuitive living. It’s loving myself enough to not fret about what others think. It’s tapping into my gut & knowing quitting is right for me.
To clarify, I’ve never “just quit” anything where it impacted others (nor would I allow the child to do so)—yet I’ve also never felt badly as a result of quitting.
I quit Coop.
I recently discovered some research which may hold a clue as to my lack of “bad feelings”:
People who are better able to let go when they experience unattainable goals have the experience…of less depressive symptoms, less negative affect over time. They also have lower Cortisol levels, and they have lower levels of systemic inflammation which is a marker of immune functioning. And they develop fewer physical health problems over time.
Quitting is simple (“Mama, I’m just not so great at soccer and I want to focus on softball. I’m better at that.).
Quitting is complicated (I’m quite grateful my own parents never let me quit playing the clarinet even when I begged to stop).
Quitting might be best summed up by W.C. Fields:
The Tornado and I long to know:
Are you a Stick With It Sally or a Quitter McGee?
Linz @ Itz Linz saysMarch 24, 2014 at 3:39 am
i know i say this all the time.. but you are SUCH an amazing momma!! my plans for baby itz is to expose him to several different sports and eventually let him choose… like you said… itz not like she’s quitting everything or for poor reasons… as long as itz well thought out, it doesn’t impact others, and she clearly has other things going on in her life to make her well-rounded!
Tina Muir saysMarch 24, 2014 at 4:03 am
As much as I initially did not think I would agree with this. I definitely do! I see it so often as a coach, that people are on the team because they feel they should be, or their parents make them….or worst of all, for the money, but they are miserable. There is no point pursuing a sport or anything in life if it does not make you happy, just for the sake of not quitting. I have seen lots of people in the running world who are VERY GOOD, but hated it, and they quit and were much happier afterwards, I like you, encouraged them to quit. Great post! Thanks for getting me thinking 🙂
Runner Girl saysMarch 24, 2014 at 4:42 am
I do agree with this as it’s why I DNF a few races too.
Erica House saysMarch 24, 2014 at 4:10 am
I tend to stick with things well past the time I know I should give up. Change is scary! As I’m getting older I’m getting better with it though.
Amanda - RunToTheFinish saysMarch 24, 2014 at 4:39 am
Love it!!!! I agree I’ve definitely quit a number of things and all were after careful consideration and realizing they either no longer brought me joy or weren’t really serving my greater goals. I’ve also probably felt compelled to stick to some things too long when I was letting other people’s goals drive me. A life lessons.
Rita saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:02 am
Consideration is key.
Healthy Mama saysMarch 24, 2014 at 4:43 am
I think the most powerful thing you say here is how quitting is brave not “wimpy.”
lindsay Cotter saysMarch 24, 2014 at 4:45 am
i agree. I think we need to “shift” gears if something is not working. Or if we lose that passion. It’s all about what good for the soul, yes?
Fancy Nancy saysMarch 24, 2014 at 4:57 am
Most of the time I’m a stick with it….but sometimes it feels so good to quit! Like I can breathe again! And that is the moment when I know it was the right choice to quit!
Rita saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:02 am
This is an interesting perspective, Carla.
A rule in our family is no quitting! I may rethink that sometimes.
Carla saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:34 am
and for me it really is a lot about shedding the MUSTurbating 🙂 the must shoulds and oughts and hard and fast rules in all arenas and trying (<---) to teach her to be still and listen to what her gut is saying for each decision individually.
Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:15 am
That’s a great quote at the end. Most of the time I stick with things, but lately, if something isn’t working out, I have no problem quitting for another alternative. As long as it’s only me that it involves.
Dr. J saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:23 am
Yes! The most successful people know when to quit! Holding on to a stone and trying to swim is never a good plan even if you really love the stone 🙂 There are many examples in my life where I have worked hard to be as good as I can in something, but I’ve been wise or lucky enough to let them go. and do something else.
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:25 am
You are such an amazing mom!! My parents were stick with it people…even if we hated it. I love your approach!
Carla saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:32 am
and it IS such a leap of faith as I try and trust her gut with things–but Im so committed to wanting her to LEARN her gut (and intuitive living) I leap and hope the net will appear.
Tina saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:26 am
I wonder if you are a clean plate club mom?
It all feels tied together to me.
Kat saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:30 am
Girl this rings SO TRUE for me in life right now – AMEN and sharing now!
Heather saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:34 am
We ride the middle on this one (possibly because my mom was a stick with it and my husband’s mom let them quit whatever, whenever). We ask our kids to finish out the season or class. We ask that they honor their commitment to the teacher, coach, team and then when it’s done, they are free to quit. So far it’s worked for all three kids. They are willing to try new things because they know they don’t have to love it and they can try something new. My daughter quit soccer last year as well (really bad fit for her) and now is trying out softball and loving it!
mimi saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:36 am
It’s a balance. Living a healthy life, you don’t quit that, it’s an overarching goal. How you get there, well, that gym might not be working for you right now, maybe you need to quit that and take up running. Keep the overarching goal in mind, and explore how best to get there. It might be staying with what you have, it might be quitting and moving on to something else.
Jody - Fit at 56 saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:36 am
This is so me Carla! I so agree!!! If one tries & it just does not feel right for you, I say move on – the best thing you can do for yourself! I have also left things behind that just were not important to me any more. I never look at it as a failure but just life & other things are more important to spend my time on. 🙂
Thea @ It's Me Vs Me saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:37 am
Hmmm…Naysayer McGee here. Well, more accurately, I Need More Info on When You Let Her Quit McGee.
I think there’s a fine line between quitting something and deciding not to do it again. Jake has decided that he doesn’t want to do gymnastics anymore so we didn’t sign up for the next session. BUT when he wanted to stop going with three lessons left, I told him he needed to honor his commitments.
Carrie Skoll saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:43 am
Once again you’ve hit the nail on the head completely! I definitely quit things. I always fulfill whatever commitment I’ve made and always finish what I start. Same goes for my kids. If you’ve joined a team – you finish the season and then try something new.
Heather (Where's the Beach) saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:43 am
Awesome post. I have always hated to see parents force their kids to do something like dance just because … because why? Because they did or didn’t as a child? I taught dance and it was painful to try to teach kids who absolutely didn’t want any part of it. My mom allowed us to quit to open doors for new things and I’m grateful. I quit gymnastics to discover ballet.
Andrea@WellnessNotes saysMarch 24, 2014 at 5:45 am
I have changed my opinion about quitting a lot over the years. I used to stick with things “no matter what.” Which is obviously not a good thing. I love the quote. Yes, you really have to try, but if it’s just not for you, it doesn’t make sense to stick with it.
Melissa saysMarch 24, 2014 at 6:20 am
Love this post and kudos to you and Tornado on coming to this decision — encouraging her to focus on her strengths 😉 My husband works at Stryker and everyone there has to read this book as part of their on-boarding process called Soar with your Strengths. It’s the same idea — focus on what you’re good at instead of trying to be everything to everyone. Own your strengths.
I want to remember this in a couple years when Maya is old enough to make the decision that she wants to quit something. For now, we just plan to introduce her to a bunch of activities and see what she likes most and go from there. 🙂
Kristina saysMarch 24, 2014 at 6:26 am
we are changing and growing (hopefully) constantly – and to quit is not necessarily a bad thing.
the bad thing? never trying, to SEE if it (from soccer to … a job!) might be a good fit. if not? you gave it a go and that is commendable. character building, experience building.
Jenny saysMarch 24, 2014 at 6:31 am
I whole heartedly agree! Kenzer has quit gymnastics (she’s dopic like her mother, and would never have been Mary Lou Retten). She has quit swimming. AND– I have a feeling this will be her last season of playing soccer with the Rec. She’s starting softball immediately after soccer, and I have a feeling she’s going to enjoy it much more.
I never allow her to quit in the middle of a season. I always expect her to finish it out so as not to let down her team mates, but if after that she chooses not to do the activity again, I fully support her. I want her to enjoy her activities.
Kierston saysMarch 24, 2014 at 6:44 am
Things change, much like time changes…things shift and we just (not ‘just’ because it can be difficult) have to change our gears (focus) as we go along 🙂
misszippy saysMarch 24, 2014 at 6:48 am
I like your process. Quitting involves a real gut check and if the gut tells you it’s the way to go, then I think you follow it. The other thing is that in most cases, quitting doesn’t have to be a forever decision. If the tornado wanted to go back to soccer in two, three, 10 years..she could. For now, though, it’s not right for her and that’s what’s important to recognize.
Tara saysMarch 24, 2014 at 7:08 am
1. I heart you
2. I heart Tornado
3. She didn’t quit, she changed focus. I love running but not so much right now. So instead of sitting on the couch and “quitting” I moved to crossfit. I love it. Will I run again; maybe. Will she return to soccer; maybe. Are we both looking to move in ways we love; absolutely!
4. See #1 and #2
AmyC saysMarch 24, 2014 at 7:14 am
As much as I always say we should finish what we start, I find myself really hearing your message. It doesn’t make sense to continue with something that doesn’t make us happy – especially when quitting will not (really) hurt anyone else.
Once again, a new perspective to carry with me! Thanks Carla 😉
clare @ fitting it all in saysMarch 24, 2014 at 7:19 am
love. and love the comparison to intuitive eating and know where the motivation is from.
Vonnie saysMarch 24, 2014 at 7:29 am
I agree. Quitting as a stepping stone to intuitive living is BRILL!!!
Debbie @ Live from La Quinta saysMarch 24, 2014 at 7:42 am
I agree so much (even though I’d never thought about it in depth). As a coach working with high school children, I see both extremes. Kids who quit (and their parents allow them) without even giving it a try or having an alternative. And at the other end of the spectrum, kids who are so burned out because they have been overdoing ALL things since they were little, now hate the sport, but aren’t allowed to quit. Sometimes it just makes more sense to move on.
debby schnabel saysMarch 24, 2014 at 7:56 am
LOVE the W.C. Fields quote. I am the kind of quitter he describes.
Krysten (@darwinianfail) saysMarch 24, 2014 at 8:19 am
I LOVE THIS!! As a kid my parents made me participate in many thing (cough cough PIANO) that I really didn’t like. But I stuck it out for many years – just cause. Sometimes things don’t click and they are not for you. You gotta do what works!
Brittany @ Barr & Table saysMarch 24, 2014 at 8:25 am
I’m a people-pleaser and often that means the “people” does not include myself. I’ll stick with something because that’s what I think someone else wants me to do. Though I’m beginning to let go of this, it secondly takes time. I did, however, quit studying piano in college after playing for 12 years because damnit, I wanted to play for myself. Not because I was supposed to be practicing 4 hours a day!
Kim saysMarch 24, 2014 at 8:42 am
With the boys we usually go with, “finish what you start.” However, we did let Hunter quit track after 2 weeks because he just wanted to run and middle school track was more about social!!!
I have definitely quit several things in my life – I usually try to give it long enough to know I really tried and didn’t just quit out of fear of failure (which is what I sort of want to do with our business but….).
Janis saysMarch 24, 2014 at 9:00 am
I think there’s a difference between quitting and just recognizing that you have a finite amount of time in the day, and it’s good to focus in the stuff that means the most to you. I’ve known more than a few people who are almost the hobbyist equivalent of hoarders, and many of them never, ever finish anything.
Your time is precious, and we all have a very finite amount of it. And once we lose it, we don’t get it back. We need to spend it mindfully.
Janis saysMarch 24, 2014 at 9:03 am
There’s also a big difference between quitting something because “it’s hard wah” and quitting because it’s just not your strong suit. Tornado seems to have made precisely the right decision for a very sensible reasons — quitting one less important activity now lets her focus on the hard work she’ll have to do for the other one, which she finds is more her “thing.”
That’s quite different from quitting because you just want to lay around all day. It’s less quitting and more focusing.
Patty @ Reach Your Peak saysMarch 24, 2014 at 9:50 am
I love the message here…it is so true! Why should we hang on to things and not quit simply because we feel we should care about it or it should still be important to us? More people should quit and invest their time and energy into other things they are truly passionate about! I 100% agree with you…great post!! 🙂
Kerri O saysMarch 24, 2014 at 10:14 am
I love this. It gives me so much more freedom to try new things when I know I’m totally OK quitting if they’re not for me.
Betsy saysMarch 24, 2014 at 10:39 am
I guess I am somewhere in the middle. I definitely don’t won’t to force B to do something he doesn’t want to do. But I don’t want him to quit without giving whatever it is a full effort. For example, he made the decision to start karate. He really likes it but there are some days he doesn’t want to go. He would rather stay home and play but once he is there he likes it. If he didn’t want to go because he genuinely doesn’t like it anymore then that would be ok with me.
Yum Yucky saysMarch 24, 2014 at 10:41 am
It depends. If I feel deep down in my bones that I should keep at it, I do. But I’ve encouraged my kids to quit at many things I didn’t think suited them well. I’m a professional Quitter Consultant.
However, sometimes my kids don’t listen to me and keep going anyway. And ya know what? It ends up working out epic-ly for them. The art of to “quit or not to quit” is a mysterious thang.
cherylann saysMarch 24, 2014 at 10:53 am
I try a lot of things. I don’t continue the pursuit of things that (1.) I am not successful with over a period of time and (2.) don’t allow me to grow.
I tried whitewater kayaking after sea kayaking and know I don’t like to be upside-down in cold rushing water wearing a helmet, just waiting to crash into a rock. Nope. But I tried it.
I continue to run after 42 years as I find it keeps me fluid and give me my time to put my day together before work.
I have also gave up racing mtn. bikes as I didn’t start until 50 but still RIDE mountain bikes and prefer it to road biking now as I am out in the hills and quiet where I need to be.
My daughter “quit” running during a 5k and we walked it in. No biggie. She ended up being an incredible dancer as that was her passion and where she needed to be. The wisest thing she ever said to me was “Mom, I am not you”. Listen to your kids.
Mary D saysMarch 27, 2014 at 10:04 am
Listening to your daughter = very wise mom.
Carla saysMarch 24, 2014 at 10:56 am
I LOVE THIS:
“The wisest thing she ever said to me was “Mom, I am not you”. Listen to your kids.”
There are myriad gifts in adoption. The fact Ive no expectation for my daughter to be me is but one tiny one…
Janis saysMarch 24, 2014 at 11:04 am
I had no idea she was adopted — the two of you are so simpatico that it’s clear whatever her DNA is, she was meant to be YOUR kid.
Carla saysMarch 24, 2014 at 11:08 am
It’s funny–she tells everyone she’s my doppelganger and in a way she really is.
I also didnt talk about it here until she was old enough to know what it meant to share with others HER story.
Jenny saysMarch 24, 2014 at 11:30 am
We’re a bunch of quitters over here. We never know what we’re going to enjoy until we try it and if we don’t enjoy it, we quit. I’d rather (and so would my kids) be GREAT at one thing, than “okay” at a dozen.
cheryl saysMarch 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm
I like the phrase “we try something else” instead of quit. “Quit” has such a finality to it.
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf saysMarch 24, 2014 at 11:53 am
I really appreciate your process. It is important to check in with yourself and it’s definitely something I do when I’m contemplating quitting something. With my kids, I probably tend towards encouraging them to stick with something more, mostly because they tend to be fast quitters because they’re not immediately good at something. And I feel like it’s important that they see and experience that something’s take a lot of work and practice. Of course if they are miserable, it’s a different story.
Geosomin saysMarch 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm
I like this. Although I usually err on the other side of this (where I just don’t try hard and suck at something and want to stop without giving it a proper try) there is a point where it’s just OK to stop something if you don’t enjoy it. No need for guilt. There’s always something else you can do instead.
Kat saysMarch 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm
Love this post Carla! A few years ago I started a company with several other people. I thought it perfectly aligned, until I realized that it wasn’t. It was not easy to walk away. It was a game changer for me though. Most of my life I put “doing the right thing for everyone else” above doing the right thing for me. The whole process taught me so much and I am aspiring to let go of things with more ease and grace. So cool that the Tornado, knows herself well enough to to follow her heart! You are an awesome mom! Loved seeing the pics from the race. <3 Kat
Mindy @ Road Runner Girl saysMarch 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm
Love this! If I (or my boys) have tried our hardest at something and we just aren’t any good at it or it won’t work out then I think it is better to quit. There’s no reason to make ourselves stay doing something that we are not good at. I think that can hurt us in more ways.
Lisa @ RunWiki saysMarch 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm
Hell yes! I just went through this 10 months ago-quit something that “was” very important-still allowing the space for something new to come along-but I trust and know it will, all in good time.
Jen saysMarch 24, 2014 at 6:08 pm
Quitting is healthy. Quitting bad habits. Quitting things you just don’t love. Quitting things that overwhelm you. You amaze me and inspire me so much!
Jess @blondeponytail saysMarch 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm
Your posts always have me thinking! I never thought about quitting in this respect and love the last quote! Tell Tornado I back her on the softball! 😉 Great sport!
Coco saysMarch 24, 2014 at 7:31 pm
(((Coop!))) I’m OK with quitting. I quit grad school after 1 semester and quit several other jobs after 6 months until I found my calling, and now I’ve had the same job for 20+ years. My husband’s not so keen on my kids’ quitting (really changing plans, right?) but he’s getting used to it!
Deb saysMarch 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm
You have no idea how grateful i am for this post. Today, after 14.5 years in pediatrics I put in a transfer request to urgent care. I just realized i deserve better and i hope it happens. Door. Opportunity. Sounds of knocking. Terrified me.
Moin @Skin saysMarch 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm
Isn’t it like quitting everything? Shouldn’t I try it more times before leaving it?
Am sorry I didn’t get secret behind your post.
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysMarch 25, 2014 at 6:20 am
Love your process around making the decision. We’ve been teaching our boys to “honor their commitments” to a team/teacher/etc. while recognizing what works and doesn’t work for them. It’s a fine line between following your gut and getting caught in the land of “shoulds.”
Tiff saysMarch 25, 2014 at 8:23 am
Ahhh yes, that last quote does sum it up quite well. I hear ya!
She Rocks Fitness saysMarch 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm
As a child, I took some horse riding lessons, until I got thrown off the horse. I was so scared, crying, and knew I did not want to get back on. I told this to my Mom when she picked me up and that I no longer wanted to ride. I loved how she accepted my decision and we moved on to the next adventure. NO questions were asked. I love this post! XO
Lori saysMarch 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm
It really depends on the situation of ‘quitting’. Some things I stick out because I know the end result is very important. Other things when the benefit to me is not there – I let go. I sort of fit in the middle of stick with it and quitter.
Janice - Fitness Cheerleader saysMarch 26, 2014 at 10:59 am
Hmmmm… That’s a tricky situation that we faced last year. My oldest decided that she no longer enjoyed soccer three weeks into last year’s season. As she had made a commitment to her team, we encouraged her to continue on, and try her best, so that her team would have enough players to continue the season. We explained to her that it’s not fair to the players that do enjoy soccer to have to forfeit or play short because half the team tried soccer but found out that it wasn’t for them. She made the best of it knowing that she was supporting her team. This year she wants to try both softball and field hockey – again, we reminded her that trying a team sport includes committing to the team, and that if she doesn’t enjoy the sport, she will have to continue to be there for her team.
Admitting that something is not right for you, and trying something else instead takes a lot of courage. I spent 6 yrs in University spending an enormous amount of money to pursue my dream of becoming an Athletic Therapist (ATC). Part way through my last year I realised that the lifestyle of an ATC did not match my longer term goals of working a 9-5 job and having a house full of kids. I completed my degree, then completely changed my career path. Telling all of my family and friends that had supported me during school that I was quitting the field took a lot of courage – I received a lot of criticism, though here we are 14 yrs later, I have a new career and no one seems to remember or care that I had started off with a completely different direction.
cheryl saysMarch 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm
That’s not quitting. That’s re-adjustment and doing something else.
Sami saysMarch 29, 2014 at 7:08 am
I think I am constantly learning new things about myself, and quitting is a part of that. We decide our likes and dislikes by going out and trying things. We should stay true to ourselves and do things for the right reasons, not to please others.
Thanks for the great reminders.
Diatta @ Femme Fitale Fit Club saysMarch 29, 2014 at 7:45 am
I’m a “stick with it Sally” all the way. I don’t let my children quit anything they beg me for because they need to learn to commit. They also need to learn to think it through before starting something, investing a bunch of money and time just to “quit”. My mom taught me that lesson and I uphold it to this day. Visiting from #sitssharefest.
All Talk Entertainment saysMarch 29, 2014 at 10:08 am
I definitely don’t consider myself a failure if I quite something. I’ll try and if it doesn’t work out it just means that it’s not meant for me or not meant for me at that time. Stopping in from SITS sharpest.
Rachel G saysMarch 29, 2014 at 12:46 pm
I think there’s definitely times when quitting is appropriate. I quite playing piano in high school because I didn’t enjoy it, I wasn’t particularly talented at it, and was quite content with my lack of musical skill. That gave me more time to pursue habits that really were important to me.
Heather @ Better With Veggies saysMarch 31, 2014 at 9:03 am
I love that WC Fields quote! I do struggle with quitting sometimes, I like to give things my all. But I also agree that it’s good to find what you love and stop what you don’t. We do change and learn new things over time and I don’t think it’s possible to do it all! 🙂
Jasmine saysApril 1, 2014 at 11:46 pm
In so many ways you always seem to hit on so much that is intuitively healthy. Hence you are truly doing what you are meant to do, methinks!
I KNOW in my heart that if I had been allowed to quit more things as a kid, I might not be spending so much of my adulthood as a ‘jack-of-all-trades and master of none’. I am accepting that I might just never be the kind of person who lands in her own just right spot and I might be good with a bunch of things. However, I would feel better about this if I knew I had enjoyed enough of the smorgasbord of life to be able to tell for sure.
BTW- I think your version of ‘quitting’ goes along well with the fact that the body gets used to workouts that remain the same and it’s really healthy to do different stuff all the time.