I can’t do it.
It’s probably one of the most damaging, and easily spoken 4 word sentences I’ve ever said to myself. I use it often, usually without even thinking about why I’m saying it, or how I could change it. I think it’s a pretty common sentence for ALL of us. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I even learned just how bad it is to use that sentence while talking to myself, but 5 years ago with the addition of 1 simple word, that sentence changed.
After about a month of “you should try this,” a very good friend of mine and I drank the CrossFit Kool-Aid. Holy crap was it ever intense, but we jumped right in, and went at it sometimes with all we had, and sometimes with just what it took to get through the WOD without feeling like we were going to breathe our very last breath right there in the middle of VCF1.
One particular day, after the warm up, our coach was showing the class what the WOD for that day consisted of. It was probably muscle ups, or ring dips, HSPU, or something that required a ridiculous amount of shoulder and upper body strength that neither one of us had. At any rate, it was something we would have skipped if we had been smart enough to look at the WOD blog on the website before we went to class that day. As everyone else started getting ready to jump right in to it, he could see our hesitation, and probably heard us talking about sneaking out and going for ice cream instead. He said something to us, and I don’t remember the exact words here, but it was most likely something like “Get your asses over there so we can start.” That’s when we each, almost in unison said it: “I can’t do it.”
I think we both expected something other than what came out of his mouth next. I don’t know what exactly we expected, but it definitely wasn’t what he said.
“Yet,” he said. “I can’t do it yet.”
That one three-letter word changed our entire outlook, not only on all things CrossFit related, but in every other aspect of life too.
Last month, a friend of mine invited me to go to Paint Night with her. I can barely draw recognizable stick figures, so I REALLY wasn’t expecting anything great out of Paint Night. In fact, the only reason I even agreed to go, is that a night out with the girls doing ANYTHING is better than one spent at home alone, and I have more than enough of those kind of nights. As I walked in the door and saw the canvases and paints on the tables, and the finished pieces hanging on the wall, I thought to myself “I can’t do this.”
“Yet.” The word rang loud and clear in my head, almost as if my friend was standing right there saying it to me.
He was right. Even though he wasn’t there at Paint Night. Even though he isn’t there most of the times I try to tell myself “I can’t do this.” He was right that day at CrossFit, and he’s been right every single time I apply it to anything else. “I can’t do it YET, but I will some day.” And now, thanks to Paint Night, I have this reminder of what happens when you stop saying “I can’t do it,” and start saying “I can’t do it yet.”