November 20th, 2018
When You Do Something You Once Thought You Could Never Do - Everything Changes
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Respected Member

Join Date: 12/19/2007 | Posts: 443

Names and locations have been changed.

A little more than three years ago, my buddy Tom invited me to the gym. He was going running. I hated running. Ever since I was a kid, I wasn’t good at it, I hated it, and I would always loathe the thought of doing it. Running around the track of the rec building at University, I couldn’t complete a full mile of running without stopping. After 7/8 of a mile, I stopped to catch my breath, my chest heaving. I hated running. And I would never like it.

Yesterday, I completed my first ever half marathon. I ran the 13.1 mile track in 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 25 seconds – an average pace of about 9 minutes, 15 seconds per mile. It felt amazing, exhilarating, and the push at the very end took my body to its absolute limit. And I absolutely – absolutely – loved it.

How did I get from the boy heaving in the gym, unable to run a mile – to a young man crossing the finish line of an official half-marathon? How could something like that be possible? I am, after all, the same person. My name is still DJAKAP, as it was then. My eyes are still blue. My heritage remains the same.

But I will tell you something. I feel different. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I didn’t even realize that I had this weight in the first place. But I did. And it was heavy.

I look back on that moment often. Whenever I finish a new distance record, or push myself to my fastest mile yet, I think back to that moment in a gym. I say to myself – DJAKAP, there was a time when you couldn’t run a mile. And now look at you.

That doesn’t mean I’m a great runner. There are far better than me. And I don’t even want to entertain the notion of being better than others. This is about something different – it is about becoming a better person – a person who does not allow himself to define himself based on what he cannot do.

And that, for me, is fundamental.

There are many things in my life that I struggle with. I have never been naturally at ease around girls. Especially the ones I thought were pretty. I am, admittedly, a terrible salsa dancer (though I will gladly ask a pretty girl to dance). I am far from perfect, and I am uncovering what are some insecurities related to being around people that I previously was unaware of – and I can now do something about.

Here’s why I write this post.

I write this post because – to get back to running – yesterday I accomplished something that one day I thought to myself would be impossible. A far cry. Laughable.
Now that all changes.

Whenever I think to myself – I can’t. I’m not good enough. It’s impossible.

I realize I have no excuse.

I can’t just means I can’t yet. I’m not good enough means I have to keep trying. It’s impossible means it will be possible one day.

The main point is very simple. If you cannot do something. Or should I say – If you think you cannot do something. You are wrong.

You can.

And here’s how you do it. Whatever you cannot do – you start to do.

If you can’t run a mile. . . You run a mile.


You see, you will hear a voice in your head saying “I can’t” or “this is wrong” or “It’s not worth it” or “quitting isn’t so bad”.

You will hear that voice over and over again, and you will listen to it.

And then one day, you won’t.

You will shrug to yourself, and say “Fuck it” and you will do it anyway.

And when you are done, you will be glowing.

The next time you do it – you will hear two voices in your head. One will say “I can’t” or “This is hard” or “I don’t want to”. But the other voice will say “but what if you could.”

For a while, you will listen to the voice of I can’t.

You will hear that new voice, but you will ignore it. It’s not safe. It’s not comfortable.

But in all of this, you are still doing what you said you couldn’t do.

The next summer after not being able to run 1 mile, I would run 1.5 miles. I would go online, and map out my route, to ensure that I ran 1.5 miles. I would return home soaked in sweat. Heaving. The little voices in my head were not all good.

But then one day, towards the end of that summer, after running 2 to 3 times per week, something happened. I made my typical route. This time, I was going for 3 miles. Around mile 2 or so, I got very tired. My legs barely moved. I was nearly running in place. But then, I felt something. A shift. All of a sudden, it wasn’t so bad. I had what they call fresh wind. And I picked up my pace. And I started to run faster. And I ran towards home – but instead of going home I ran past it, and ran a couple more blocks down the suburban streets just south of Campus. And when I got home, I said to my friends Tom and Sammy – that was the first time I actually enjoyed running.

My relationship with running was off and on after that. I would go months without running. Lose the momentum I had gained.

Something changed this year, after I got back from my road trip. I wanted to get in the best shape of my life. I distinctly remember this moment, and another one I will describe, that were proverbial game-changers for me.

One: I was running by my mother’s house. At this point, I was running around three miles at a time. And I remember rounding the corner of Lincoln and Rose to return home. And I heard those two voices in my head. And one said you should slow down. And the other said that I could do it. And I remember this moment clear as day. I simply ignored the voice that said I couldn’t do it. And I kept running hard. I didn’t slow down until I reached my mother’s door-way.

Two: I was running by my dad’s house. I was running a 1.5 mile loop around the neighborhood, and I was going to go at least twice. After the first time around, I felt tired. I knew I should keep going, but I stopped. I went inside, sat down at the computer, and started writing a forum post about how what I just did was bullshit. And that you should keep going. And then – I looked at the screen. At what I wrote. And I got up out of the seat. And I opened the door to my house and stepped outside. And I ran that loop two more times. And while I ran that loop, the entire time I said to myself – I am surrendering myself to the voice inside my head that is pushing me – my inner drill sergeant. Whatever he told me to do, I would do. And my mind came up with some ridiculous things to do. I hopped up the street like
a bunny. I had army chants going through my head. I ran hard uphill, at every hill I would meet. And at the end of the run, I was fine.

Three: I was running a loop around the Rosewood neighborhood. It was going to be a 6 mile loop. The longest run I had ever done. There is a part of Rosewood Lake Road that is up-hill for about a mile and a half straight. As I was running up that hill, I thought about slowing down so many times. I thought about stopping. As I rounded Rosewood Lake Road to reach Almot Lake Road, the hill continued. I thought about stopping. I thought about slowing down. I kept running. I kept pushing. About a mile from my father’s house. I was out of gas. My legs were dead. 90 percent of my mind wanted me to stop. That I had done enough, that I had proven myself, that I could give myself a rest before going back home. I ignored it. I kept running. I returned home and didn’t stop running one time. I was exhausted.

These three barriers changed my life. In all of them, I pushed through mental clutter telling me not to. It is not that I did not think those same thoughts as before. I thought them. They were there in my brain. But I ignored them. I kept going. I kept pushing.

It was not easy. But after a while I got used to that. I got used to ignoring the voice that says “good enough.” I got used to the voice saying “you can” and I started listening to him more. Whenever I would think a thought related to “I can’t”, I would shrug and then say to myself these exact words “alright, well I’m going to do it anyway”.


Want to know how I went from not being able to run a mile to finishing a half-marathon? It’s knowing what is right, and then doing something about it. And it’s ignoring the voice in your head that says I can’t or I have to slow down or I have to rest. You have to cross a threshold – a mental threshold – where you start listening to the thoughts that help you and stop listening to the thoughts that hurt you. You still hear them. But now they don’t control you. They don’t own you. They’re just an idiosyncracy you have that you can choose to ignore. And that you ignore over and over and over again.

Where do I stand now? Well I am far from perfect. I have limiting beliefs I am aware of, and some that I am not.

But I do know this. I will never accept as an excuse that I can’t. It simply isn’t true. I know it because I have done it. If I am not good at salsa, it is because I choose not to dedicate my time to becoming good at salsa. Not that I can’t be good at salsa. If I am not good with people, it is because I don’t make an effort to become good with people, not that I can’t be good with people.

Where-ever your insecurities lie is merely an absence of the truth. If you think you can’t, you are wrong. You can. And that is the end of the show.
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Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

Senior Member

Join Date: 08/10/2007 | Posts: 142

Excellent Read. I'm sitting here wondering if i can replace my car's radiator...

*steps outside*
"You think it's tough now? Come to Africa." - Olushola Ajose

"Game is NOT a skillset. Game is a state of being, which means that trying to learn game is an absolute waste of fucking time. Naw, go out, get fucked up and enjoy yourself cause life is just too fucking short. Fuck stressing out and trying to get better at game. U stress all your life trying to acquire skillsets at work and school etc. The party is the one place where you can escape learning skillsets and the stress that comes with it. The place where u can go, get fucked up, and enjoy some chaos to balance you out with all of the organized and repatative shit you go thorough every day." - Endgame
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Respected Member

Join Date: 12/19/2007 | Posts: 443

Eight months later, I find this article reinforces empowering beliefs for me.  I recommend it as a read for people interested in pushing past those mental thoughts of "I can't", if they still exist.
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Respected Member

Join Date: 07/28/2010 | Posts: 482

great read. empowering. how long from start (7/8 mile in the gym) to marathon?
Max is the Christ child that was conceived from the love Tyler and Julien both shared. A bond so deep and true, it could only fabricate the saviour of our cause. Together they made this marvelous modern miracle Max, and finally after enough time he has grown to realise his destiny - Messiah of RSD - saving us from scandal and attack.
He is paying for our sins by taking jabs to the face by angry feminists -- and so it was,  so it shall be.
Praise Tyler, Amen.
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Trusted Member

Join Date: 12/23/2006 | Posts: 3129

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Junior Member

Join Date: 12/25/2007 | Posts: 4

I never post on the forums, but just had to go to my email to get my username and pword to reply here.

awesome post dude. I hate running, but can relate with other activities. my wrestling coach's #1 rule is to never ever EVER say the words, "I can't". his mentality was, "you can say 'its gonna be difficult', you can say 'it will be hard', but you can't ever say the words 'I can't'".

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Respected Member

Join Date: 05/14/2010 | Posts: 401

good post, thats a good moto to have: "if you think you cant do it, go and fucking do it". I will remind myself of this when out approaching.
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