When the going gets tough...the tough keep going

Keep. Fucking. Going. It's a talisman and a mantra that I have come to embrace in a year that has tested all of my limits. I say it to myself when I start to doubt my own resolve, which is more often than I'd like to admit. There is a voice that constantly tells me I'm not strong enough to deal with obstacles in my way, and in those times when the hurdles seem insurmountable, the voice gets louder...until I cling to the fact that I must simply keep going. I repeat it on runs when my legs just want to stop moving; when my anxieties threaten to overwhelm me completely; when the kids buckle under the weight of this pandemic; on days when my dearest friend struggles to fight the cancer that took us all by surprise. I ask myself, if he can keep going, who I am I to stop? 

My use of the KFG mantra was born with that very cancer diagnosis. We all needed a whisper of hope and the resolve to face whatever the future held. I found the KFG bracelet on Amazon and we've worn them ever since. When one of us is struggling, we send a picture of it to the other as a call for help. It's like the Bat Signal, when one of us sees it, the others rally to help. I've never been one to ask for help, or to admit my weaknesses, but I am getting better at communicating both with this mantra/bracelet. It's so much easier to send out a photo than articulate a need for help in a moment of struggle. It's easier to convince yourself YOU CAN when you have a physical talisman to cling to. 

I believe that now, more than ever, we all need something to cling to. It's a running joke that 2020 is just a dumpster fire of a year, but the ugly truth of it is that absolutely everyone I know has struggled this year. Struggled with something - physical health, mental health, financial crisis, you name it. No one has been unscathed by the strains of the pandemic, economic instability, political maelstrom, and social injustice. This year has stained and changed the fabric of our lives, distorting the picture into darker hues than many of could have predicted. And yet, for all the darkness, most of us are still here...persevering through circumstances that waffle between scary and suffocating. We've kept fucking going, and we can continue to do so.

Life throws everyone curve balls, hard times knock on all of our doors. I now meet all of those challenges knowing that giving up is not an option. I've given up once, and it was the darkest time of my life. When you let yourself open that door, the only thing to greet you on the other side is anguish. Giving up doesn't stop the struggle, but robs you of your ability to fight. You still have to endure the hardship, but passively, un-tethered and without a path towards resolution. Giving up is just that...giving up everything that's good about your life. In moments of hardship, which this year have been many, I urge you all to remember the good and keep fucking going.


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