Stop Using Can't and Start Using Can


As the readers of my blog know I have started the North Dallas business of Marathon Makeover.  I have been thinking a lot lately about the business and how to engage others in what is more than a marathon.  This running/triathlon/endurance sport idea is more than just a race or distance.  It is a lifestyle.  Changing people's lives is not easy especially when they are 'set' in their ways.

We Type A people think that we just go forward and it can be done....anything can be done.  Most people don't think that way though.  They need to be led and shown why it is good for them.  The question I keep coming back to is how do you show them?  I am running a campaign on Facebook that is targeted to our main group here in the North Dallas area.  I have posted on LinkedIn and Twitter about the program and because I am convinced that it can be done I want others to be convinced but does it happen that fast?  See an ad for running a marathon, click on it and join?  Obviously not.  Marketing experts will tell you it takes 7 points of touch before somebody takes an action.  So I will keep doing what I am doing in sending out press releases, Facebook ad campaigns, LinkedIn, etc to get to those 7 points but how do you get the message across that this lifestyle is FUN.

Obviously I love to race and being competitive is in my blood.  I love to train and excercise.  I love the choices I get to make regarding my diet on a daily basis.  It is 'easy' for me to choose a spinach salad over  penne vodka.  I used to think that the waiters or waitresses would think to themselves what is this guy ordering, but then I thought to myself that is their issue and not mine.  The problem with that thought process is that those are the exact people I want to work with.  Help them make healthier choices, but doing so could take all day because of how passionate I am about living a healthy lifestyle.

I hear all the time from family and friends that I can't do that.  I can't run a mile.  The only 13.1 miles I'm covering is in my car.  We have all heard it before and for me it is somewhat maddening.  I started running by doing a 1/4 mile walk, then 1/4 mile jog, then 1/4 mile walk, then 1/4 mile jog and be done.  15 minutes give or take for a week like that.  Then I moved up to another distance....2 miles.  And it kept growing but I didn't come into this world running a marathon.  For me the word can't is a total conversation ender.  Once you use that word then it doesn't matter why because you have shut down.  My step son says I can't carry this or I can't carry that.  I tell him fine leave it on the floor then and somebody who CAN will pick it up and carry it.  I want to get him out of the mindset before it even starts.

I don't look at the world as a world of not possibles.  I see the world in a way that leads me to believe that anything is possible.  It is a positive mindset that I have chosen and feel it benefits me.  If something truly cannot be done then it had better be because I tried and tried and tried and was unsuccessful, and not because I just looked at the project as too daunting.

When I was in Mississippi a few weeks ago, we did some video shooting for the website about what running, marathons and Marathon Makeover mean to us.  My story is not unlike a lot of folks out there who got started in endurance sports and have let it carry them forward.

This video captures me and my personality perfectly because it is about smiling and having fun.  Running and training for a marathon or half-ironman or ironman is fun.  You can see changes in your personality, changes in your work product, changes in your family and friends as they catch the bug from you.

Can you help me out today and tell somebody who uses the word can't that they can?  Tell them it's possible and they just need to change their mind for this one obstacle.  Once they see that they CAN do it they will think to themselves what else did I think I could not accomplish and now CAN.  It is amazing to see the mindset of a person change and I am asking you to become a catalyst for changing somebody's life.

Tell me what you did to help somebody stop using the word can't.

This is going to be a combined day of thanks since I did not post it yesterday.

Day 7 - I am thankful today for what I got to do last night with my step son.  Last night after dinner I went to the grocery store because I wanted to cook with Chico.  He was at his Dad's all weekend and when he was back home I wanted to spend some time with him.  He loves to cook as do I.  So last night right after dinner he went to shower (Mom was watching - he is only 4) while I ran to the grocery store to get the ingredients for energy bars and granola that Marni (TriMarni) provided the recipe for. 

After I got home we turned the kitchen into a full-on restaurant kitchen with measuring spoons and cups and bowls and pans and ingredients and just had a blast making it.

It was getting the opportunity to spend time with my step-son and sharing a passion with him that I am thankful for.

Granola Ingredients
Energy Bar Ingredients

Finished Energy Bars (prior to cutting)
Finished Granola

Day 8 - I am thankful for growing friendships.  I have a core group of guys that I used to hang out with when I was in NY.  Those were my boys and we shared our lives together all the time.  It was great.  I moved to Texas and knew nobody but my now wife (we were dating when I moved to Texas for her.)  I signed up for a softball league and met some great people.  I always thought to myself that they will never replace my boys.  And sure enough they haven't replaced them but they have added onto them.  Yesterday alone I got two emails and 2 phone calls from buddies that I met since I moved here and one invited me to the movies tonight (unable to attend b/c of a Board Mtg) and instead we changed it to lunch today.  The other buddy (Juan - see race report) called to tell me a story and followed that up with asking if I wanted to grab a beer down at the local restaurant in our neighborhood (unable to because I wanted to be with Chico.)  Seeing my friendships/relationships grow here in Texas from total strangers is what I'm thankful for.

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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