Have you ever tried something you thought would be fun or good for you, found it to be difficult, and decided you’re just not good at it? At some point, not being good at that thing becomes so much a part of who you think you are that it never occurs to you to try again. I’ve done that with many things over the years…running, golf, high impact workouts, talking to strangers…to name a few.

When I was placed at the front desk at the dental office where I was working I was so nervous, but it didn’t take long to figure out how to talk to strangers. Most people just want to be treated with respect and to have someone smile and take an interest in them. Easy enough. Not sure why I had such a hard time with that before. Building that confidence made me start to realize I could all kinds of things I never thought possible.

Most of my life I’ve considered myself to not be athletic. That lead to a life long habit of sitting around which meant a lifetime of struggling with my weight. On November 1, 2009 I started Turbo Jam because I had topped out at 323.6 lbs and knew I HAD to do something. It was so hard at first, but my body began to adapt and change. I lost 40 lbs in the first few months. Then I got sick and got off track. All those years of sitting around made it hard to get my momentum back. I needed a challenge so I started TurboFire which is basically Turbo Jam on crack. I assumed that I needed to modify all the moves because I couldn’t do the high impact stuff. The trainer, Chalene Johnson, is a fantastic motivator and is always saying that our own negative thoughts hold us back so one day I decided to jump just to see if I could. Yep, I could. So no more low impact modifications for me. I choose to do more because I can.

Yesterday, I was walking around the school parking lot to pass the time while my son was at basketball practice. My goal was to do 20 laps before the hour was up. As I came around the last corner of lap 14 it occurred to me that perhaps I could jog a lap, so I did. As I came around the last corner of lap 15 it occurred to me that I felt great and perhaps I could jog another lap, so I did. And another. By the end of lap 17 it occurred to me that I could keep going, but I wasn’t wearing the right shoes and my jeans were falling down. Jogging with one hand keeping your pants up is not ideal, though probably hilarious to watch. I went back to walking and ended up completing 25 laps in all. Now I’ve caught the running bug and need to do some shoe shopping.

The point of all this is that we should all take a few moments to think about what we would like to do, but assume that we can’t. Make a list even. Then, try it. Sure it might be difficult and it may require some learning, but what’s wrong with that? We can turn our weaknesses into strengths and inspire others as we do. Doesn’t that sound better than living a life of “I can’t”? Next on my list…golf. What about you?