About fifteen years ago, a well-meaning physiotherapist informed me that my lower back issues were so severe I would probably never run again. At the time, I believed her.
This past year, I logged 1,748KM of running.
Of course, there’s more to this story. My journey to being able to run again included a steep learning curve, a lot of injuries, and countless hours of physiotherapy, massage, and strength training to correct a lifetime’s worth of asymmetries and compensations. It still includes those things. Most of my runs begin with an hour of strength training and end with stretching and a warm bath.
Maybe for some people that’s too high a price to pay to be able to run consistently. For me, it’s worth every second of effort. My runs are the highlight of my week. They have also become a proud middle finger to anyone who tells me I can’t do something.
Running is my thing. It might not be yours. Still, you probably have something in your life that you’ve always dreamed of doing but, for whatever reason, haven’t done it. The bottom line? If you really want to do something—if you’re willing to pay whatever price is demanded of you—you can.
We’ve finally turned the corner on a very tough year, and all of us are hopeful 2021 will be better. Maybe your only New Year’s resolution is to keep your head above water—and that’s fair enough. But we create our own bright spots in life. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but thought (or were told) you couldn’t do it, maybe this is the year you stop listening to the naysayers (including that voice in your head) and give it a try.
It might not work right away. You might discover there are ten hoops you have to jump through before you can do the thing, whatever it is. Your devotion will likely be tested. You’ll have to start small and go slow. But who cares? If it’s something you’ve always wanted, it will be worth the time and effort it takes to get there.
2020 has changed people in many ways. It’s made us realize what’s important in our lives—and what isn’t. What’s worth fighting for; and what needs to change. Now’s the time to make a decision and do that thing, whatever it is.
Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t, or you’re too old, or it’s too hard, or you don’t have what it takes. Life is unpredictable, as we’ve learned this year. Prove them wrong, whoever they are, and do it.