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that four-letter word

Monday, April 26, 2010

No, not that word. The other one. Starts with "c". C-A-N-'-T.

It has occurred to me that I have used the word "can't" far too often. I "can't" go to the gym because I don't have time; I "can't" eat healthy because it's too expensive/time consuming/whatever; I "can't" do this or that particular activity because I'm too big/my joints hurt/I'm too old/the stars aren't aligned today/whatever. I'm not sure just how I've managed to come so far down this road, but it seems that I have become afraid to try--it's far easier to make excuses for why "I can't".

Over the past few months I've read lots of people's blogs and message board posts where they discussed how, despite large amounts of weight to lose, they went from being couch potatoes to dedicated runners, some even training for marathons. And although I admired their commitment and energy, there was always something that my mind could come up with that made their circumstances different and would explain why I couldn't do the same thing. Yet, I found myself covertly watching others at the gym as I walked on the treadmill and they ran, and I wondered--"could I possibly ever do THAT??" Having not even tried to run in years, I actually didn't believe I even knew how. Or that I would hurt myself in even trying. Or fall off the treadmill and humiliate myself.

Recently, I bought a membership to the fitness centre at my workplace. I work the night shift, and decided it would be a good use of my time to use the fitness centre for a workout during my break time. So there I was one night, all alone in the fitness centre. No one to watch me fall off the treadmill (on the down side, no one to help me up or call 911 for the ambulance either!) No one to watch my flab jiggle, or see me gasping for breath and think "what the heck does she think she is doing?". And instead of keeping up the brisk walk I had started, my hand reached over to the speed adjustment on the treadmill and increased it--and next thing you know, there I was, jogging. Me! Now, I didn't last long and I didn't go fast. I managed to jog for about 1 minute at a time and then had to slow down to a walk again, and my fastest speed was about 4.2 mph. I was elated!

Last night after dinner, I invited my 18-year-old daughter out for a walk around the block with me. As we started out, she commented on how I was walking at a brisker pace than usual. I said, "hey, maybe one of these days we'll be jogging instead of walking!" Her response--"okay, let's go!" Me--"I CAN'T jog on a full stomach!" Her--"just a light jog.." and off she trotted. And I followed. And guess what--I can. We did 20 minutes of alternating brisk walking with slow jogging. My knees hurt, and I was gasping and wheezing (note to self, use inhaler before exercise next time, and carry it with me). But, I did it. I CAN.

So that's one 4-letter word it's time to lose.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sharon this is wonderful! What a great feeling when you take the bull by the horns so-to-speak and just do it!! How nice that your daughter will join you on these walks-runs...hopefully the two of you will continue! emoticon
    2695 days ago
    What a wonderful motivational post! It is all about attitude isn't it! I had to give myself a good kick in the butt to get moving again and I feel so much better having done it. We CAN get fit and healthy! Keep up the good attitude and good work, only positive things can come of it!

    2708 days ago
    This is a great post! I teared up reading it. For far too long I have used that word too. It's getting easier for me to try it and realize that I too can do it. :)
    I don't even know you - but I am so proud of you!

    Make sure you take that inhaler on EVERY walk! :)

    I take mine as well.... emoticon
    2708 days ago
    Yea!!!! Good for you! I haven't really "jogged" but I chase my kidlet around the gym during pre-school drop-in and she makes me run in the field when we go for walks. One of these days I'll feel like my knees can deal with the pounding and start working on it more seriously.
    2708 days ago
    What a great reminder that our attitude really plays such a large part in our road to health.
    2709 days ago
    Good for you! Years ago I trained myself to substitute the word "won't" for can't---because really, that's what I was meaning anyway. I knew the minute I started to say can't--I'd had no plans of doing something. Decided it was time to be honest about it--and surprisingly, I seldom actually say won't!
    2709 days ago
    Woot Woot! Way to go!
    2709 days ago
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