“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"I Can" in an "I Can't" world

"A Can-Do mentality seeks to achieve the end goal in any way possible. A Can't-Do Mentality looks for excuses and smokescreens to block any movement forward because, well, change can be unsettling."
-Some guy named Nick;)

Monday night was the kick-off meeting for the No Boundaries running program at Fleet Feet.  I was so excited because I really feel that this is an awesome program for beginning runners.  I wish I would have known about it when I started running. 

9 of my friends signed up for the program.  My prayer for them has been that God will ignite in them the same love and passion for running that He ignited in me.  Just signing up was a huge step for many of them and I didn't realize until the meeting how intimidated some of them are by the thought of running a 5k or even 1 mile.
What I was really unprepared for was the amount of grumbling and complaining I heard from the participants. It really frustrated me.  One of my friends made a comment that she was suckered into it. She tried to pass it off as a joke, but her face and body language could not hide the fear she was feeling.
Suckered into it?! I actually question myself for a moment. Did I push my friends too hard to participate?  Maybe I want this for them more than they want this for themselves? Trying to be as pleasant as possible I told them that their attitude would determine whether or not they were a success in this program or a failure.

I have always been a "go-getter", so sometimes it's hard for me to understand and empathize with an "I can't" attitude.  There are people on a waiting list for this program who want to make a lifestyle change.  They are ready to play an active role in their life and here are people who have that opportunity and they are grumbling because they might have to get up early one Saturday morning for a training run!

I believe that these people will succeed but they may need a lot more encouragement and prodding than I had initially thought.  They may never love running, but by gosh, they will have the tools they need when I get done with them to succeed at it if they want to.

All week I have really been thinking a lot about how our attitude and words affect our lives.
Your attitude and your words are going to make a HUGE impact on whether you succeed or whether you fail.  Your words are so powerful. The Bible even says "Words kill; words give life; they are either poison or fruit-you choose" Proverbs 18:21
You can kill a dream or a goal with your negative words or you can give life to those dreams and goals with your positive words.

I have always been athletic, so when I started running it was daunting, but I had a confidence that I could do it.  Sometimes I might be a little over confident and try to take on more than I can chew.  My God tells me that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."Phil 4:13, I take that literally.  Even when I feel like I might be drowning in my circumstances I choose to speak words of life.  I believe that our words frame our lives.  I want the frame of my life to be positive. We have all been around people who are negative all the time. What do their words say? "I can't do it, it's too hard, nothing will ever change." They focus on what they can't do, on all the bad things that are happening around them. And nothing ever changes.

Our first training run is this Monday night.  I am going to be armed with a positive attitude and full of encouraging words and compassion for all of the new runners.  Each one of these people had a specific reason why they signed up; whether it was weight loss, to be more active, to look better in a pair of jeans, or to be more social.  I want to help them focus on that so that they can be successful in meeting their goal. I want to help transform their thinking from "I can't" to "I can"!""!

Have you ever had an "I can't" moment?  How did you turn it into an "I can" victory?

If you're new to my blog, welcome! If you're not new, thanks for stopping by!  I love reading your comments and feedback!
Grace and peace,


RockStarTri said...

I've coached a lot of newbies (in cycling though) and fear is common. Most important at the beginning is managing expectations ( ie "Indiviually defining what is success?", "There may be highs and lows on the road to success") and calming the fear ("you are the same as [or better] compared to many who have already succeeded"). Given the right structure, most who "want" to succeed, will.

Also "I will" is better than "I can." I believe that's the best way to get to "I did." And nirvana is "I did it again" [as long as Britney isn't singing it :) ]

Enjoy their journey!

Julie said...

Hi April,
From one go getter to another...you have such a good and positive attitude!! Your kind words and gentle reminding will help to motivate and ease some of your friends uneasyness:) You have the right mindset to be a woman who will succeed!!

Jameson said...

there was a point when I said "I cant finish school" and i almost took a break, i didnt and i ended up with two majors.

Erica said...

Hi April,
I have to say as a new runner, your mind has to totally be in the game, 90% of the days I run it is a mind excersise more than physical I also had to find an outlet to believe in myself because in the beggining I felt like an outsider and I was intimadated, and even now I sometimes feel embarresed about my times and have to remember that 3 months ago I could not run 1/2 a mile. But, I want to be a runner and I want to be fast so even if I am embarrassing bouncing down the street other people will have to suck it up...it makes me happy, even if I am slow! ANYHOW...what I was going to say was I think by being inspiring and understanding that in the beginning it is hard, will go a long way with the whiners and when they get their first running high they will be so thankful! Wish I was in the program! sorry for such a long post

Hannah said...

You will be such a great motivator for all of your buddies. Your attitude is amazing!

H Love said...

I love this post and the scripture is so TRUE! You definitely have to have the want and desire and the CAN DO falls into place.

It is hard everyone has their "days". Offering grace and compassion is always a good thing....I know I always need it!Thanks for sharing.

MJ said...

You mentioned one of my favorite Bible verses- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:13. That never fails to keep me positive, as does my desire to be a proper role model to further His kingdom.

Your attitude will take you far (literally and figuratively). Sounds like it already has. Best wishes!

Glenn Jones said...

Great post April! I have "I can't" moments every day. I'm just old enough to not worry about what people may think as Imake a fool of myself trying to change the "I can't" to an "I did". In fact -this was the whole motivation to running my first marathon two years ago.

misszippy said...

Sounds to me like you'll be just the coach they need! Good for you for recognizing what their weak spots will be. As to the "I can't" question...I think I have a small moment like that in just about every race, but I know I can push back and finish out.

Lisa said...

I like what RockStar Tri said

"I will" is better than "I can" and a faster way to get to "I did" and then "I did it again!" Brilliant!

When I started, I was intimidated by a 5K also. And I was really concerned about being last. But I found out that being last (or nearly last) isn't so bad actually. The finish line is pretty sweet no matter when you get there. I DNF'd once due to injury and trust me, being last (or nearly last) is more satisfying than walking off of the course.

My prayer for your friends would be that they learn to love running. That's really the only way they will likely stick with it.

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