Hitting the Wall

Posted By on May 15, 2013 | 7 comments

You can feel it seeping into your mind at first.  Then it hits your body.

As you’re going along, working hard, you start to feel less motivated, less energetic, and less like pushing through to your goal.

You start to make excuses.  You even rationalize that you have gone far enough, that most people wouldn’t have made it as far as you.

That overwhelming sense of faux confidence can be your undoing, if you allow it.

I’m a runner.  And chances are, if you do any sort of distance sport or exercise, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  That wall can take you down in any number of ways.

Marathoners talk about how they hit a wall around mile twenty.  For me, it’s after mile one.  My mind starts telling me all kinds of things that make me want to shut it down.

I get bored, tired, a muscle will be sore, an ankle might start hurting, and any other number of things makes me think about stopping.

That wall can hit you in a number of ways in life.  It can take away your job, your spouse, your savings, your friends, your home, a limb, your confidence, your beliefs, your children; you get my drift.

The long distance runners know the wall is coming.  And most of them know when.

With life, we can sometimes anticipate when it’s going to hit, but not always.  Five hundred people got laid off from the auto plant near my house a few months ago.  Guaranteed they didn’t see that one coming.

Whether you know it’s coming or not, it still sucks when it hits you.  It rips away your energy, your zest for life, your motivation.  You want to just quit.

There have been times in my short career as an author where I thought about just forgetting about the idea of writing books and telling stories.  Someone told me that I needed to stop daydreaming and just settle into the steady job I was already working.  Essentially, she told me to quit.

When I wrote my first book, hardly anyone bought it.  I may have sold 50 copies in two years.  I was discouraged about that, and again that wall hit me.

It told me to quit and give up.  I’d done enough by completing a novel.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t write books because I’m trying to win awards or sell billions of copies.  I write them because I like telling stories.

I run because I know it’s good for me and I like how it makes me feel when I’m done.  It also helps me retain my girlish figure.  😉

So, I keep writing, I keep running, and I keep going.

No matter what the wall throws at you, you have to push through it.  You have to keep going.

Why, though?  Why should you?

Because there are people who are counting on you, people who want to hear your story, people who want to see you succeed, and people who love you.

And you also have to keep going so you can grow, and expand as a person.  There can be no growth without a little growing pain.  That is what the wall really is.

It is the pain that is thrown at us to keep us the same way we are when everything in our being is telling us we need to grow, to become something better than we currently are.

So, go hard.  Go with everything you have.  Grow like you’ve never grown before.

And when the wall hits you, hit it back.  Hit it with everything you got.

Maybe that’s why runners call it hitting the wall and not vice versa.  Because when you’re the one doing the hitting, you can never lose.


  1. Wow Ernest, really inspiring post. I happen to be starting a non-fiction book myself and even before making it very far, I can say the doubt starts to creep in. Thanks for the encouragement to go hard and hit the wall back!

    Post a Reply
    • No problem Ross. Glad it hit home with you. 🙂

      If you hit any bumps along the way during the process, feel free to send me an email and I’ll try to answer any questions you may have.

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  2. Well said, Ernie. You write simply because you like telling stories – which boils it down to the basics. I think if a writer sets out looking at the potential income, they’d better get used to disappointment, but if they focus on their love for what they’re doing, then they’ve already succeeded.
    You’re looking pretty successful to me – thanks for the inspiration!

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks Mike.
      You got it. And I know you are well on your way too. 🙂

      Post a Reply
  3. Beautifully written, Ernest and agreed – keep going and live like your head is on fire. There are many things I’ll die trying to do in my life, but at least I’ll be trying.

    Post a Reply
    • Exactly. 🙂
      I love that, “live like your head is on fire.” Maybe that’s why I have my fingers in so many cookie jars. 🙂

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  4. Hi – I found this resonating as I run too and know that point where I want to give up rather than keep going. I used to believe I couldn’t run and told my trainer “I can only run for 2 minutes then I can’t do anymore!”. Bless him – he worked with me. He told me “it’s in your head, not your body, this belief you can only run for 2 minutes!” and he set me on a programme to help me overcome this belief……and I did. I run on average about 30 minutes every other day. I then followed some other tricks I have read over the years about changing the way we think, so when I hit that wall that screams out to me “stop, too tired, can’t be bothered tonight, legs just haven’t got it, you can’t run” – I say no I’m not tired, I can be bothered, my legs are fine, and silently say to myself – Push through, push through, and it works. I do push through, and the sense of achievement that I finished my run despite the wall is amazing.

    I have definitely noticed a difference in how I perform depending on my state of mind and thinking pattern. It’s not always easy to nip those negative thoughts in the bud, sometimes they creep up on you when you aren’t looking and BAM – you are full of negative ideas that lead you to feel you can’t do this, don’t feel like that. But if you can shine a light on them and say “go away – I don’t really believe that” – it can do wonders 🙂

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