Oh yes. You can.
After breaking my leg a few weeks ago, I felt an overwhelming rush of sadness.
It felt like a huge “set back” on so many levels.
Even though I knew that the injury would only be temporary, all I could think about was everything I couldn’t do. A crushing avalanche of “can’ts.”
I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t bike. For a while, I couldn’t descend the stairs without supervision. I felt trapped in my apartment, isolated and frustrated. Even just making a cup of coffee and carrying it over to the couch became a huge, complicated undertaking. (Crutches + hot coffee = spills. So many spills.)
I even stopped writing. My heart wasn’t in it. I had nothing to say. That hasn’t happened… ever.
One day, shortly after my accident, my trainer came over to pay me a visit.
He brought me a sandwich and plopped on the couch. I immediately started crying.
Seeing him — an emblem of fitness and strength — only reminded me about all of the things I couldn’t do. All of my limitations. All of my “can’ts.”
“You know,” he said, as if reading my mind. “As soon as you feel ready, we can start training again. I have a lot of experience working with injured people. We can figure out some moves that you can do safely.”
“Really?” I sniffled.
After getting the OK from my doctor, I got back into the gym.
Turns out? There are some things I can’t do yet — but there are a lot of things that I can do.
Much more than I realized.
I can do one-legged deadlifts. I can do one-legged push ups. I can do one-legged battle ropes. Even… one-legged rowing!
Slowly, with each passing day, the track looping inside my mind has shifted from “I can’t” to “I can… I can… I can.”
It’s the most cliché realization in the world, but it’s true:
You can’t always do everything you hope, want, wish, ache to do, right this second… but you can always do something.
No time to write a book because you are raising three kids? Write a haiku.
No cash for a sultry island vacation with your sweetheart? Give her one deep, long kiss and make it count.
No energy to pour into your marketing plan for your business right now? Send one email to one customer who bought something, anything, from you in the past ten years to say, “Thank you for believing in me.” Call it good.
You can do something. You can always do something.
It might be small. It might not be sexy, flashy or glamorous. But you can take one step — one awkward, hobbly, crutch-hoppy step — to move one inch closer to becoming the person that you want to be.
What’s your “something” for today?
Decide to do it.