No You Can't....Yes I Can!

Posted by martin.parnell |
No You Can't....Yes I Can!

During his Presidential campaign, Barrack Obama coined the phrase “Yes we can” and millions of people, across America, believed they could. 

But, what about when people are telling you “No you can’t!" 

In 2010, at the age of 58, my wife Sue, decided she wanted to run a marathon. She chose to do the Queen City Marathon, in Regina.  All was going reasonably well, until she hit the 33km mark, it was at this point her legs seized up, her calves were screaming for her to stop and she could only hobble to a nearby park bench. Along came a ‘sweeper’, a race volunteer who cycled the route looking for runners who weren’t going to make the cut-off time and arrange for them to be picked up. She told my wife that she was “done” and a truck would come and give her a ride as she wouldn’t make the finish in the time allowed.

This was all the motivation Sue needed and, amazingly, she stood up, hobbled for about 200 meters, then began to walk, broke into a gentle jog and ended up running across the finish line, well before that magical cut-off line.

Sometimes you need to ignore the doubts of others, test your mental resolve and try to prove them wrong.

To do this, you should ask yourself: 

1. What are the obstacles? 

2. Do I have the skill set to tackle them? 

3. Are there time constraints? 

4. Do I need support? 

In my wife’s case, she was able to address all of these issues by using knowledge and willpower, to implement the actions necessary to achieve her goal. 

1. Her main obstacle was the pain she was feeling, but she knew that, eventually, it would pass. It wasn’t life-threatening! 

2. She had put in the training and knew that she could cover the marathon distance. 

3. She calculated that, if she just got walking, it was possible to make the cut-off time. 

4. She knew there were friends and family, along the route who would cheer her efforts and aid stations to provide water and nutrition. 

It wasn’t the most positive experience, but it gave Sue the satisfaction of knowing she had achieved her goal, despite the difficulties.  Next time, she would draw on what she had gained from the experience and if a similar situation arose, she would be able to say, with confidence, “Yes, I can!”

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