Workout of the Day

When to Throw in the Towel


While perseverance is a valuable and admirable quality, there is certainly a time to throw in the towel. Perhaps it’s calling it quits on a project, or ending a relationship, or giving up on a sport or hobby, or enrolling in an intensive medical weight-loss intervention, or whatever else.

Let’s assume that whatever this thing may be (project, relationship, injury rehab, sport, weight loss, etc.), it is important to you. It holds great value, and you are dedicated to seeing it through to the best of your abilities.

With that assumption, throwing in the towel is the best choice when all other options have been exhausted. To clarify, this means determining what is in your control and what is not in your control, and from that list of what is in your control, determining: have I given my best effort to see all of these paths through to the end?

If the answer is yes, it’s time to consider throwing in the towel. You’ve done what you can. To stay any longer would just be to subject yourself to the whims of an endless list of what you cannot control.

If the answer is no, it’s back to the drawing board. Take each thing that you have control over, and see it through with the best you have to give. Do this, and there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself moving ever closer to “mission accomplished” and edging further away from throwing in any towels.

Now, time for the spoiler alert: rarely is the answer to the above question ever “yes.” People tend to throw in the towel long before they get close to a place where they’ve put their best efforts into every factor they control. More often, their list of reasons why they should bail focus on what they cannot control.

Of course, there is a third option: whatever the thing in question, it is not as important to you as the effort required. If this is the case, that’s okay! You’re allowed to change your mind. But let’s not let ourselves off the hook with pretend language about how this or that won’t let you move forward when there’s a list of untouched actions that are within your control, waiting for your attention.

You’ve probably got a lot more to give than you let on. Think about it.

- PS


  • Push press - 3,3,3


  • 4 rounds for cals:

  • In 2 mins:

    • 20 single-arm DB thrusters (40/25)

    • Max cal bike

  • Rest 2 mins