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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Can't vs Don't

People tend to use they wrong words when they say they can't do something.  What they actually mean to say is that they won't do it, or they just don't believe they can do it.  Can't is what you say when it's literally impossible for you to do.  In all other cases, you give up before the end.  As a runner, I know what it's like to hit a wall and fight to stay strong and run on.  Yesterday, I had a friend dare me to run a marathon on a treadmill as long as he got 100 likes on that.  In response to his wall post on facebook, I received more than 100 likes, which led to today's workout.  According to what I wrote for training, today was a short day, with just sprints, but due to getting the likes, I 'had' to run a marathon.  Since yesterday's work out was on the hard side, I wasn't totally prepared to run this challenge.

But it wasn't impossible.

Although during the run, there were multiple points where I wanted to stop, I knew that my legs could handle the wear and tear, and I knew that the only thing that would stop me from finishing would be my mind.  Running that race was one of the hardest things I've ever done to my mind.  26.2 miles of running and I'm going nowhere... it wasn't the best of situations.  I didn't have any encouragement, so I resorted to grunting encouragements to myself to keep myself going.  In order to make my life slightly more interesting, I would add more speed every mile or half mile, making me have to work harder, but with my sanity barely intact, I was able to run that marathon in 3:25:21, an average of about 7:50 min/mile, which was a pretty decent time for a marathon.

Would I do it again?  No.  Was it worth my time?  Yes.  This marathon pushed me to the finish line, and helped me understand what I couldn't do, and what I don't want to do.  I'd like to think of myself as a man of my word, and should I say something, I would have to back it up with action.  My body was screaming at me because I was pushing the pace at a rate faster than what I've been doing for marathons and ultras.  Because of that, I was pressured to slow down, but I believed that I needed improvement in going beyond what my body was comfortable with, so I made sure to push myself forward.

Can't is something that's a last resort, don't and won't are the ones that take the brunt of what's going on.  In order to find out what you can't do, you need to make sure there aren't any more options for you.  This would mean that you would need to continually push yourself in order to maximize your resolve and know what you're capable of.  Push hard and forward, never give up and never step back.  Those are the keys to unlocking your potential and finding out your limits.  Once you know your limits, then you can say can't, but if you want to break your limits, you can say 'can't for now...' because in time, you might be able to go beyond your old limits.

So remember what 'can't' really means.

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