Running up to the fork in the road, I could see the 42km and 21km signage and, at that moment, realized that I had truly missed the turnoff for the 14km run. I had a plan for the 14km run but to add another 7km at that speed just seemed impossible. I had mentally prepared myself for a short distance, not the half marathon! Immediately at 14km, I told my friend to go. He encouraged me to try but I just stumbled out with, “I can’t.” As soon as I said those words, I could feel my body struggle and fight with each step. My energy shifted.
Have you ever felt you just CAN'T go any further? You get hit with obstacle after obstacle and wonder when it will ever stop. Time moves slowly. Your mind becomes overactive with the problems and struggles to find the solutions. How do you feel energetically? Heavy? Tired?
Imagine the possibilities when we say, "I can".
Just by shifting our words, we can really change many of the obstacles we face. See how it feels in your body and your energy when you use the words, "I can" and "I can't". "I can" gives us that little bit of hope and that is when we really need to push through. This takes courage. What happens if we do? We learn to adapt, improve and move forward. What happens if we don’t? We get stuck and give up.
I don’t want to give up.
As a life coach and wanting to live my life pushing my own boundaries to evolve, I look for new opportunities to allow this. By pushing new boundaries, I am able to adapt and learn. At first, this moves me into something a bit more uncomfortable, however, it will eventually settle down and become the norm. Then from that norm, new opportunities will arise that allow us to further evolve (like the Hero's Journey I used to love teaching).
At the 14km point, there was an area with water and food - thankfully. I drank a few glasses of water, ate an orange and grabbed a bar. I remember thinking, “okay, I can’t run at the same speed I was for the next 7km, but walking is not enough for me… I need to run but I’ll take it slower. I can do this.” In that moment, everything shifted. I was not only able to reassess my situation but to be flexible to change my plan and to follow through with a new one.
The first 2.5 km were tough but after that, I found a great groove. As I am working on nutrition through races, I made sure to practice that, too. After getting closer and closer to the finish line, I had recovered and felt good again and picked up my pace in the last kilometer. And before I knew it, I finished my first half marathon!
My, “I can’t” became, “I can” and as sore as I will be tomorrow, I now know that I can do it and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to find a new benchmark. Eventually running half marathons could feel good and lead to running a full marathon (my eventual plans, but you get the point).
Life brings us many different opportunities for growth. Where in your life is your mind stopping you from doing something? What little difference could you make in your life to push your boundaries so that you can evolve and take a step closer to the life you want to be living. Imagine if you only start with the words, “I can." That, in itself, takes courage and celebration as just a tiny shift can have monumental consequences.