I don't know whether to classify this as rambling or a speech, really. I think of it as more of the former, because I just feel like coming at you true as I always do.
As I try harder, as I push harder not just in workouts but in life. As I push through objections and obstacles that I find to be an ever present entity in my life, I remember where I came from. I came from a living hell of "Can't". When I was growing up, everything was "Can't". Can't afford the bills. Can't afford the medical expenses. Can't have decent, non-destroyed furniture. Can't have anything nice because of my hoarder mom trashing the house and our finances. "I can't" applied to a six year period where I couldn't bathe in a tub like everyone else since the onset of indoor plumbing, because the tub was another receptacle for cardboard boxes and assorted crap.
My life has always been "I can'T". I can't go out on my own because everyone else needs my help. I can't have a girlfriend, I can't even date. I can't get out of the house. I can't have a vacation. A lot of these hold true, frankly. Because the only way some of those can'ts could be turned into cans is by abandoning my parents to work and old age, which I will not do. Period. So I don't really complain about those, it's my choice.
You know, I'm going on 26 and still don't have a driver's license. I literally could not get enough time where things weren't crazy to focus on getting it. Just another "can't", something so common that it's an old friend. My attempts to lose weight are met with nothing but "Can'ts".
My left shoulder isn't the best, and instead of looking at it to see what the problem is my doctor just tells me I can't lift weight. "Weight isn't right for you". I never have enough room in this blasted house for anything I need or want to have to assist me in my journey. I can't have a pullup bar. I can't have more space. The ceilings aren't high enough on this level of the house and I definitely can't have it upstairs where all mom's crap is stacked up to the ceiling.
I am not a mean person. I do have a temper that flare up into scary territory, but that is a flame I dominated with self-discipline a long time ago, in the turmoil of my teenage years. When I was tired of letting it control me. It's nearly impossible to rattle me now, and my default mood without any effort at all is generally the silly person you know on here. What I also am not is timid. I am not quiet. I do not go quietly into the good night, because the world I came up in would have swallowed me whole. The trick was finding that balance, to being a rounded person. It is this assertiveness that has led to me systemically destroying "I can't" in my life.
Sometimes the only way is to stop thinking of things as obstacles even if they are. To say no. To defy them. You have to get raw. My dad didn't want to talk about pullup bars because he knew there was no solution for the inside of this house. So I made it clear to him that when the time comes for me to think about those, we will get an outdoor setup. Of course this is Alaska. We have winter. I told him to let me worry about it. There is no winter. There will just be me, with gloves and a coat, knocking out those reps in the freezing cold because I CAN.
My doctor told me I couldn't lift weight. I lift heavier than when I saw him because I can. I improved my posture with research and conscious effort. I took the strain off my shoulder by changing up how I do presses. I took all the knowledge and wisdom I could about the human body, ligaments, muscles, bones, and how we move. I eliminated elbow and forearm pain from my bicep curls, getting a better contraction in my bicep. Because I can.
My parents are too old to change their eating habits and like to complain about the price of eating healthier. I got my own fridge and set up my own budget with my dad. Because I can eat healthier. Just just I can. I can is the first step. The second step is I will. I can. I will.
I can get my driver's license. I know because I know I'm a good driver. Hell, when I went to driving school and got to the parallel parking part, where most newbies fail, I parked perfectly with half an inch between my vehicle and the curb. As close as you can get on the dot. (Still though, fudge parallel parking. I'd rather park further away and walk.) I can. I will. I'm working it out.
I can get the incline bench I need to do more exercises and do them more safely. I will. I'm in the process. I can get more space. I'm taking over the garage for the summer, where I also have my heavy bag, and come winter I'll figure out how to make space in here. I can. I will.
I know we all have different lives. Different obstacles. Different journeys. Our problems are as unique, and yet as familiar to one another, as we are as people. A shared and yet distinct existence. My problems are not your problems, but one thing I know for sure is you all have "I can't" in your life too. In different areas, in different packaging, with different conflicts and struggles. The third part of that mantra above, when you combine it into a simple philosophy will not solve every problem. It can't. It's too simple, too straightforward. But it does give you a starting point. It's a platform on which to stand proud and think everything else through.
I can. I will. I must.
You can too. Never doubt yourself. On the journey of fitness, knowledge is power. Power gives you mental strength. Mental strength is what leads to physical strength. Whatever your obstacles are, and whatever you actually need to do to solve them; Remember that you can. You will. And, if you need that extra self push - you must.