Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When you say "I can't"

I went to my spin class yesterday.

It was a monday.

It was early.

I ate too many chips and salsa the day before...

The peppy instructor was getting on my nerves. Bless her heart. {if you say that, it makes it better}

The ginormous fan was hitting me directly in the face. 

My legs were aching.

My workout clothes didn't dry before we had to leave so I was wearing longer yoga pants.

Yoga pants are not good for spin.

I was starting to get an ear ache from the ginormous fan 

I wanted to be in bed or eating a shipleys donut.

My seat was too high.

My seat was too low.

My shoes were too tight.

I forgot my water......

All great reasons {or so I told myself} to just say "I can't."

I can't do this, I can't give this my all. I'm just going to get through this so I can say I did and be done. My focus everywhere {mainly on donuts} but there....

Just about the second song into the class, I looked up and out of the windows of the room. The windows looked out into an area of the gym that was sort of hidden but still had exercise equipment. I noticed  a guy sitting there hitting a gym bag.

Then I realized he wasn't just sitting. He was in a wheelchair.  Paralyzed from the waste down.

He was hitting that gym bag as hard as he could. Because he was in a wheel chair and not able to move around with the bag, he would wait until it stopped swinging, then go at it again. As hard as he could.

Every now and then he would stop for some water. In between those breaks, waiting for the bag to stop swinging and close enough for him to hit again, his focus never left that gym bag.

He was so determined. So focused. Completely there. Giving it his all.

Here I was complaining because all of my petty circumstances that weren't ideal and perfect. Saying "I can't"

How may times do we say that to ourselves?

I can't get into it.

I can't get to the gym today.

I can't motivate myself.

I can't put myself out there.

I can't get up that early to pray. I'm not a morning person.

I can't try that.

I can't give that....

I can't do that and I can't do this....

I can't. I can't. I can't.

I get on to my kids every time they say that. I tell them they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. I tell them they are more than capable. I tell them to push through and keep trying. I can't is not allowed in their vocabulary.

So how come I let it be in mine?  Maybe I don't speak it out loud, but I sure think it.

"I can't do that God"

"I can't put myself out there like that."

"I can't open my heart to people I don't know"

"I can't run in a marathon"

"I can't open a shop or start a business"

"I can't start that project, it's too big for me"

"I can't just go hug that person, they'll think I'm crazy"

I can't. I can't. I can't.

Here's the thing that gets whispered into my spirit in response to those thoughts...."I know you can't...but I can"

I struggled through that class yesterday. My body was tired. But every time I felt myself saying "I can't," I looked up at that guy in the wheel chair. Still giving it his all. Still focused. Still driven. Telling himself "I can".

We wonder why some people are successful, how they do what they do, how they have the courage, the motivation, the ability, why they are so talented or creative, or in shape, or whatever it is...

I think there is one main thing that unites them all and separates them from those who only say "I wish".

They simply say "I can".

People like the amazing guy in the wheel chair, who do not let circumstances, or insecurities stop them from what they really want to do. From achieving what there hearts dream about. From trying something they never thought they could.

The biggest hurdle to get over, in order to achieve great things, is ourselves.

 We all have the ability within us to achieve greatness, the only difference is whether we believe we can.

....Whether we say I can because He can.

And then we DO. Just one step in front of the other.

I'm not sure what happened to that guy--how he ended up in a wheelchair or whether he was born that way. But I do know that regardless of how he got there, he didn't let it determine where he would go.

 Linking this up with Casey


  1. Ok,, this is so good. I have chilly bumps..and I'm so guilty of this. I talk myself out of "it".. I am my worst critic. But it's usually when we take that step that He moves in the "it". :)

  2. Wow. I love this! Feeling very convicted by it. Thank you.

  3. AMEN!!! Such a beautiful post!! We all need to remember to be grateful for our blessings and live each day to the fullest!

  4. this is a great post!!i'm a new follower and i love your blog... i just got in from a 3 mile walk and it makes me want to go and walk it again!!!!

  5. Wow!! Such a great post. I love the way you take an ordinary situation and find such a great prespective. Keep sharing the gift you've been given!

  6. This post is great!! Thank you for sharing!


  7. Wow, this was so beautifully encouraging and convicting. I know I say "I can't" wait too often. And I tell God the same thing, too. If only I could have this perspective on a daily basis...It's definitely something I'm working on. Lately, I've really come to the conclusion that "I" am what is holding me back. Like you said, I am my biggest hurdle. Thank you for your honesty!


  8. been hearing myself say i can't a lot lately...not good! but this was such a good reminder of where i need to be...relying on the Lord to help me when i can't.

  9. yup, yet another word I need to read. Thank you

  10. This is a beautiful post! I have a 5 y.o. daughter with multiple special needs who is medically fragile. Whenever I think I can't, I look at her and all she has to endure and it puts some perspective on things.

  11. Thank You for this...Completely inspiring and completely needed!

  12. So needed to hear this!!! Love, Love, Love ur blog. I've said it to many other people but never to u, but u are truly AMAZING!!! God is working through you to reach and encourage many women!

  13. This is a constant struggle for me and I am always talking to my children about it. beautifully written.

  14. This is SO inspiring. I also spin and there are several days in or out of the class that I feel that way. Thank you for the reminder.

  15. Woah. I was having the biggest pitty party tonight. Saying ahem "i can't."
    your so right when i hear my boys say "i can't" I tell them the same thing phil. 4:13. I tell them to inscribe it on their heart and never forget it. But oh how easily I forget.
    God is so good always giving us what we need. Thanks friend.

  16. This is such a touching post! Thanks for sharing this perspective with us - I teach Special Ed, and this is still a reminder I need to hear ;)

  17. Wow, first time at your blog. I love it! Thanks so much for this reminder today! We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength, and we have so much to be grateful for! Blessings :)

  18. crazy that you posted this days ago and i NEEDED to find it tonight. thanks. praise jesus!



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