Our fragile strength

"You can do anything for 60 seconds!" Yells the boxing class instructor as your body screams at you, "Get me out of this plank NOW."
"You can do anything for an hour." My head thinks as I sit through another monotonous lecture about the use of a clause.
"You can get through the day."
"You can make it to next week."

You tell yourself these things over and over again; anything to get through whatever you're going through. It is in these moments when you feel like it'll never end. Like the continuous, looping "I'm not good enough"s and the "I can't do this" moments will never end. You push that willpower and justify whatever odds will get you to your means. It's the moment when you realize that maybe you can't do it that sends all traces of calmness into chaos.

It's school, work, paying bills, your parents. Your nagging girlfriend, that test on Tuesday, the dog next door that never seems to stop barking. The party invitations you want to turn down because you should be working on homework but end up saying yes to because how much could one night downtown really affect your grade for the entire semester? It's the pressure, the growing mountain of responsibility and the obligations that you put on yourself. It's the balance between social and studious that you strive so hard to find.

You push yourself to your limits and tell yourself that sleep really isn't that important because you don't have time for it. You curse the flu that comes on as a result of too many late nights and lost sleep. You pick up those shitty eating habits because who has time to meal prep kale and "good for you" vegan lunches anyways? You accept mediocre grades because you're already killing yourself, trying to figure out how to balance all of it. You don't realize how fragile you really are until you have pushed the limits past the point of no return.

It's not that you'll never push past this vicious cycle, after all, college is (usually) only four years of your life. Four years of your life where you become dependent on caffeine, unwilling to say that you do miss home and you realize that there are worse things in life than constantly being tired. Somehow that fragile strength that you push too far every time, works to your advantage. Because you can do anything for an hour, a week, a month, a few years. You can finish that paper before midnight if you try hard enough and you can successfully go without sleep for 72 hours because there's something in your brain that tells you, you have to. There's a mechanism in your body that is immune to this disease and a will that is stronger than you think.

And if not, well, there's nothing a good Jack and Coke can't fix.