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  • Colin Jonov

Patience in Progress: Love in The Boring

Every Sunday on my way to church, I drive past the same courthouse. For what felt like years, it was undergoing construction. Every Sunday, I would say to my wife, “I wonder if they stopped working on it. They haven’t made any progress in forever.” Then, all of a sudden, we drove past one Sunday and it was as if they had built it overnight. What was once an old, outdated layout now became an aesthetically beautiful landscape. I’m not sure I could’ve found a better metaphor for the athletic journey.

As an athlete, we are so result- and outcome-driven. Singular competitions are a zero-sum game; only one team, one person, can win. It frequently forces us to focus on the wrong things. The “process” is discussed at a rate now that may have made it a buzzword. However, what’s not as intimately discussed is what the process actually means and how monotonous it can be. Just like the courthouse, there will be months and maybe even years of applied effort without any visual progress being seen. It’s important to remember that even though it may appear there hasn’t been improvement, it’s building beneath the surface. It becomes so easy to become disheartened and give up, usually right before our breakthrough. This picture is one of my all-time favorite memes as it perfectly captures those feelings:

We glamorize the process. However, the process is about as un-sexy as it gets. Oftentimes, I feel we are looking for some magical answer that’ll solve all of our problems. The truth is the answers are in the work. The day-to-day grind. The monotonous approach to doing the boring, yet essential work every single day. Find patience with results but be relentless in your pursuit. That is why it is so important to find love in the struggle, find love in the boring, and find love in our process in which we approach our craft. We need to give higher meaning to our work or else we give ourselves an out to quit. Believe me, I’ve been there. To be truthful, I am living a version of this right now in multiple avenues of life. Some days I just want to give up and quit. Some days I feel like the world is crashing down on my lungs and I can’t breathe. I bring myself back to the courthouse, back to this picture. I remind myself that even though I can’t see the progress I desire yet, my efforts are compounding. What I do every single day is building into something beautiful.

Those negative thoughts in my mind have a much shorter duration than they used to. I simply just can’t quit on myself. When we say “trust the process,” what we are actually saying is “trust in yourself.” Those who don’t trust the process are revealing to themselves and everyone around them that they lack trust in their own self. The process isn’t a mythical imaginary token. It’s you, putting in the work every day without getting bored. You can only trust the process if you trust yourself to show up with focus and intention. Showing up is a skill. The best in the world show up every single day, especially the days they don’t want to. Those skillsets you see on TV aren’t just “gifts” these guys and girls were born with. They come from unseen years of practice and preparation. Don’t give up, keep pushing. Embrace the suck. Keep iterating. Keep doing the ugly. Then one day, after years of unnoticeable improvements, you’ll wake up an “overnight success” just like the courthouse.

To Building Fortitude.

Best Regards,

Colin Jonov, Founder & CEO Athletic Fortitude

P.S. Want to share your experiences or challenges with us? Reply to this newsletter or connect with me on social media @ColkyJonov10. I’m here to support you on your journey!

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