I recently heard a quote by Andy Stanley that stated, “Compromise does not erase the tension. It only weakens our resolve.” Andy was speaking about matters of faith, but I was struck by the statement as it refers to all aspects of life, especially endurance endeavors.
As you have probably found in life, compromise leads to more compromise. You make the decision to sleep in just once and skip the workout, and it becomes a lot easier to do it again. You make the decision to cut that long run 1 minutes short and next time you find that it is ok to cut it 5 minutes short. You make the decision that it is ok to cut the intensity from the workout because you are unmotivated, and it becomes easier to just skip it for the entire week. You make the decision to not chase down that guy in the race, and it becomes easier to not chase down the next one. Compromise breeds compromise. Instead, we need to live lives of conviction that breeds conviction.
Compromise does not erase the desire to compromise, it only changes the level at which you are willing to compromise. The tension remains. This is important to understand because that tension is what we are seeking to eliminate usually with compromise but what we are left with is the same tension and more compromise.
Next time you consider compromise, don’t. Even if the thing you are considering not doing will not have a significant impact, I urge you to not waiver. The act of refusing to compromise – no matter how insignificant – is a standard of integrity that will provide a foundation of success in sport, and life.