Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Starting Again

After a few months off, I started spinning again yesterday. A gym membership was one of B's gifts to me for Valentines Day. I'd been hinting and asking and begging for one. Spin is something I love to do and I missed it. There is just something about the dark room, music and instructors with calves the side of my head. I love getting pushed hard, sweaty and sore. Call me crazy.

But I'm not going to lie. After months of not going, it was rough at first. I found myself looking at the clock after 5 minutes going "how long is this class again??"

Just as I was about to think "I can't,"  I remembered this post I wrote a while back. I thought I'd share it again today because it was so appropriate for me yesterday. Maybe you're saying "I can't" to something today...Maybe this is something you need to read today too. Hope you are encouraged by it.

"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 up with Jami 


  1. Laura! you are so right.

    "I know you can't...but I can" LOVE!

    Phil 4:13 is one of my favorite verses.

  2. Woo! Good job spinning! Keep it up Laura!!!! That post is so motivational and really reminds me of the current season of Biggest Loser, the season of No Excuses! We make so many excuses for not working out, but do not hold ourselves accountable for our eating. We say, well since I can't go to the gym today I might as well eat nothing but junk. Thanks for the motivation!!!

  3. I only skimmed this, but I loved it! I had an uncle who lost his legs knee down when he was 16. He was in a wheelchair the rest of his life, but stayed so motivated by competing in races and writing a book. He was always positive. I always try to think of him when I get discouraged.


  4. Wow! Thanks for sharing this post! So inspired and encouraged! Philippians 4:13 is one of my favorite verses. I need to encourage and remind myself of that constantly.

  5. What a great post! It really really hit home with me. I struggle with the "I can'ts" all the time. Thank you for this! So beautifully written.

  6. how inspiring!! i'm really ready to quit making excuses for not working out consistently and just go for it :)

  7. I really needed this today. I've been falling into this habit of thinking "I can't" ever since I had my daughter 4 months ago. I've found it hard to remember that what I can't handle God can. Thank you for this post!

  8. What a fab post that can be applied to EVERYTHING we say we can not do in life! I also remind my kids that they can do anything through Christ who strengthens them! GREAT reminder! And how awesome is that dude in the wheelchair! Wish I could give him a high five! XO!!

  9. Oh my GOsh Laura......I LOVED this post andn can soooooo realte. I am training for a marathon and somedays I just want to die others days I could run for days. BUt I just loved the way you decribed everything in this post. I'm so glad oyu founf me and my blog. Definitely a new follower:) xoxooxxo Hanna

  10. Oh gosh, I needed this. I am the queen of excuses, especially when it comes to working out. I may read this every day. :)

  11. I needed to read this today! You are so right!

  12. This is so incredibly inspiring! I am going to think about this post whenever I feel like I can't do something. So much truth. Thank you! :)

  13. love this friend! such an encouraging post! i can, i can, i can : )

  14. oh girl! this is a struggle for me. Not just in working out, but several areas. I can see God stretching me in some areas to get me out of my comfort zone. I'm just letting Him lead the way. xoxo

  15. Found you through lovely noodle bug! Love your blog (:

  16. this is the first post I saw of yours EVER...your message blessed me beyond belief and has changed my life. God is so good and I am so thankful for people who say yes to Him when He gives you a message to share. Thank you for writing!

  17. I just joined your blog. This post was so encouraging. It's so true: I can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens me! I wonder if it hurts Him when we say, "I can't"...
    P.S. I noticed in your "about" that you said your sisters are your best friends. I have 3 and they are totally my best friends as well!

  18. wow this was such a great post. truly blessed me, so good. You cracked me up out loud about the donuts and then brought me right back in and slapped me in the face with your encouraging words. Love it. Love your heart!


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