Monday Motivation: Running Away From Can't

Monday, October 17, 2011

For years I thought I couldn't be a runner. I had plenty of reasons: 1) I live in a society with stereotypes like "Black women don't run 2) I live with the memory of never being able to pass the 12-minute mile portion of the physical fitness test given in grade school and 3) I live with chronic pain thanks to a serious connective tissue disease that even has doctors convinced that I can't run.

But I run anyway. 

Saturday I participated in the Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure. With thoughts of those failed physical fitness tests looming I set a goal for myself to complete the run in 37 minutes or less (since 3.1 - the number of miles in a 5K - times 12 would equal 37.2 minutes). I finished in 34 minutes and 58 seconds. 

Because I'm a writer to my core, I couldn't help but consider if this fitness accomplishment had any application to my artistic pursuits and I realized of course it does. 

As writers how often do we tell ourselves we can't do things: I can't be a full-time freelancer because I'm not brave enough to handle such a risky endeavor. I can't publish a book because I'm not talented or connected enough. I can't start an independent magazine or alternative weekly because the economy is too bad. 

After Saturday I decided that I am running away from can't. I'm not accepting it anymore in my fitness life nor in my writing life. Who's with me?

What goal would you pursue if you were to rid yourself of the "I can't" attitude?

Read more about my Race for the Cure at 

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