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  • Ashley

Changing “I Can’t” to “I Can”


“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right,” (Henry Ford).

For the past eight weeks, I have been fighting a battle against “I can’t.” If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you might remember the story about my first 5K (if not, you need to read it here to really “get” what I’m about to share).

Two failed experiences didn’t give me any confidence in the ability or desire to run.

But there is something about a task left unfinished. It hangs in the shadows, not always seen and it can be ignored but, still, you know it’s there. At the beginning of the summer, a neighbor told me about a local group of women who meet one night a week for a few months during the summer to run, run/walk, or walk together.  At the end of that time, there is an option to run a 5K. It was the perfect opportunity to finally finish what had been started years before.

Even with the accountability of the weekly group, I would have never stuck with the training without my friend, Shauna.  We met two times a week outside of the group to work our way through a 5K training app.  Her presence and encouragement made all the difference! I can’t express how thankful I am for her!

This morning the big day arrived.  We had worked hard and knew, from training, that we were capable. I wanted to finish but, after waking up with an unsettled stomach, the doubts came rushing back. Fear made it’s way into my heart.  Maybe I wouldn’t be able to do it after all. What if I failed again?

But training had taught an important lesson – running is not as much as a physical challenge as it is mental. It was time to push through the insecurities.

“You’ve got this. We can do it,” said Shauna with her reassuring, bright smile. The race began and we took off.  We passed by the mile one marker. Several people and groups stood along the route to cheer for the participants. Their presence was extremely motivating!

Our feet continued to hit the pavement taking us closer to the finish line. As it came into view, we began to run faster and then – we did it! We finished the race! The emotion of making it for the first time hit and I shed some crazy happy tears!


It was “only” a 5K but, for me, it was so much more. It was the completion of a goal.  It was overcoming physical and mental challenges. It was embracing the God-given gift of physical movement to become stronger and healthier.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right” – Now I know that I can.

Think I’ll hang onto my running shoes after all!

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