The language of can

I grew up in a household of caution. My parents were loving and supportive, but they were cautious and quite often very fearful of doing anything that was too far outside of their comfort zone. As a result, I spent much of my childhood and young adulthood setting safe goals, avoiding anything that was too far outside of my comfort zone.

My parents didn’t discourage me, but they often talked in the language of “cannot,” rather than the language of “can.  I learned at a young age to be fearful of goals that seemed outside of what was “normal.”

Then, John and I committed to sharing our lives together.

In the 15 years we’ve been together as a couple, I’ve watched him take so many leaps of faith, and land on his feet every time.  He’s taught me that the best goals to have are those that are outside of the comfort zone, outside of the norm.

John lives his life in the language of “can,” and he’s taught me to live my life that way too.

He’s taught me that having faith in myself, and a belief in my ability to do whatever I set your mind to is the difference between success and failure.

Now, he is just moments away from racing in the Ironman World Championships, something he has thought about since he was a teenager, since he first watched the race on TV. Despite racing in one of the most competitive age groups (male 35-39), and long odds for qualification, John had faith in himself and he believed he would qualify.

And, he did.


His is not an arrogant belief. It is an attitude that comes from the discipline and commitment he exhibited in his training, his nutrition, his sacrifices.

John lives in the language of can. And, I cannot wait to watch him cross that finish line this afternoon.


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  3. Great post, nicely written.

    My wife is much more cautious than I am. Doesn’t make her bad (or me bad) so we balance each other. Sometimes it causes conflict but we are both better for it.

    Hope John’s day is all he hopes for. And yours too!

  4. I love this post, and this teaching…”the best goals to have are those that are outside of the comfort zone, outside of the norm.” I wish John all the best in his journey; just from following your blog, I can tell he has the best support system out there, ‘you’. Have a great time!

  5. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    Where are all the like , love, oh hellz yes buttons? This is such an awesome post. Believe in the can and not the cannot… true.

    John – luck is for those who have not trained songs out there and enjoy your race. Have a blast, relish in the moment and cherish the memories.

    Can’t wait to see you streaming across the finish line.

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