Without Struggle, There Is No Progress

My man Frederick Douglass there, laying down some truth.  It’s one of my favorite sentiments to echo when I’m in the midst of a rough patch & feel like giving up.  I often use it as motivation while exercising.  I went for a simple two mile jog on the treadmill before sitting down to write (actually the inspiration for this post); it felt good, but my time was shit.


Frederick Douglass, OG (Original Grammatician).

So I reminded myself that yes, I hadn’t exactly been throwing myself into working out and devoting time to it every day.  And no, I’m not going to just start running 8-minute miles because I want to and I feel like I should be able to.  There’s a reason getting in shape sucks: it’s a slow process, it hurts, and it requires proper effort (re: actual work).  So if I want that toned, Jesus-on-the-cross look just in time for beach season, you better believe I’m gonna have a nice struggle along the way.

“No overnight success or runnin’ with vets /
just pure unadulterated work progress”

The Muppets do Jurassic 5’s “If You Only Knew.”  Gold.

I can’t recall if I’ve already written on this topic, so I’m just going to forage ahead because even if so, it’s a message worth repeating.  This same concept applies neatly to recovery, as well as any given situation in life that requires endurance.  It’s a part of the A.A. Promises – that a fruitful recovery “will materialize if we work for it.”  There are inevitably groups of people who are handed everything on a silver platter, but we are not among them – nor should we lament that we are not.


For the good majority of humans in this world, and especially addicts and alcoholics, satisfactory results require painstaking labor, be they mental or physical (or both).  It seems natural, when you think about it – how else are we going to make positive strides in this world, even the day-to-day?  Of COURSE there will be tribulations.  But perhaps the problem is not that we don’t accept this as a reality, but rather that we forget to mindfully embrace it.

Personally, I find the bitter pill of ‘struggle’ much easier to swallow once I remind myself that it is really a necessary evil.  I want what I want and I want it now, but guess what?  It will be worth much more if I endure, through the exhaustive aches and pains.  So tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity to put in good, hard work – always keeping the goal of positive progress in mind.

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