Can’t never could.

When I was little and I would say the words, “I can’t…..” – my mom would always say this back to me, “Can’t never could…”

Insert typical eye-roll from child here.  Especially after hearing it for the umpteenth time.

But it is true.

So I say it to my children.

And they roll their eyes, too.

Basically it means if you don’t even try, you never could do it in the first place.

Because you gave up before you really even got started.

Fast forward a bit to a warm Spring day last year.  I had just started running again.  I’m not a running fanatic, but I enjoy the way I feel after I have gone for a run.  I’m addicted to that feeling, therefore I like to run.  I distinctly remember thinking how glad I was that I could run and that I wouldn’t know what I would do if there was ever a time that I couldn’t run.

Move ahead to the 5K that I ran at the end of June.  The one where I hurt my knee climbing a hill that I wasn’t prepared for.  I finished the race but it stopped me in my tracks.

I couldn’t run as well as I wanted.  I was afraid of further injury.  So ever since then I’ve been telling myself that I can’t.

In November I started having issues with my right arm.  Not that big of a deal, I just knew something wasn’t quite right.  Now, here I am nearly 3 months later, I’ve been in physical therapy, and I am wearing an arm splint this week.  When I first realized this injury I was just staring to do kettle-bells and lift a little weight. Trying to do something else since I “couldn’t” run.  So while I’ve been going to PT, I’ve been telling myself that I can’t exercise.  I don’t want to overdo anything.

I can’t.

I CAN

Well I’m sick of it.  I have never been one to have this attitude.  I especially don’t like it because when I look around I see people that are doing the impossible. People with a grim diagnosis or true physical limitations pushing those limits and not taking their ailment or prognosis as a reason to lay down and stop.

And the piddly little things that have happened to me are little more than an inconvenience for me.  And only for me.

It hasn’t stopped me from being a mother or urging my kids to try new things.  

It hasn’t kept me from being able to work.

It has only made me lazy.

So I’m announcing right here… the pity party is over.

My new mantra is I CAN.  And I  WILL.  But I won’t be going at it alone.

I may need to adjust a bit.  I may need to walk before I run again.  I know my arm will eventually get better.  Or maybe it won’t.

I’ve overcome way bigger things than this.

I learned how to drive a manual transmission car.  Eventually.  After I stalled out a few times…

I learned how to water ski after many tears and several wipe-outs.

I became a parent after telling myself for years that I wouldn’t/couldn’t.

I gained control of my finances after a pretty rough patch in my twenties.

I became a fairly decent cook. I may have burned a few things along the way, but I’ve watched and learned and my family doesn’t go hungry.

I’m still married to the love of my life.

I did none of this alone.

That’s the secret weapon of those who have overcome huge adversity.

I had people praying for me that I never knew were.  I have leaned on God and gained my strength through him.  I have learned by watching others and being encouraged by those around me.

That’s why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

-2 Corinthians 12:10

It’s not about me and my strength.  It’s about what God is able to do through me – especially through my weakness.

So I am leaning on this truth… alone I really can’t.  But with strength and encouragement from God, family, friends, and even my two littlest fans – I know that I can.  Whatever it is.

And so can you.

 

 

 

Jennifer Collins (GracefulMess)

About Jennifer Collins (GracefulMess)

Jennifer is a mom with a day job and she likes to write about her victories and messes along the way. She is living an adventurous life as a Georgia transplant learning to thrive in Maine, with a strong Southern accent that screams that she is "from away" and a new-found love for lobster rolls and timely snow plows. Jennifer's writing has been featured on BlogHer, iVillage Australia, Daddy Doin' Work, and Girl Body Pride.