Thursday, March 06, 2008

I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can

You remember reading that corny story about the Little Engine Who Could when you were a kid? My son was so into trains that I read any book with a train theme to him approximately 10,000 times. So I read "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can" many times over those years. Yesterday in karate we were doing pushups and our sensei had us yelling with each pushup "" over and over. The ol' Power of Positive Thinking gig. Sometimes we can let ourselves believe that this kind of stuff is "just BS" or really doesn't work. But lately I've seen the results of positive thinking in a big way that confirmed what I've known anecdotally throughout my life.

Just recently, the kids on my robotics team have shown me all over again what kind of power you have when you refuse to be told you can't do something. I have to admit, as they dreamed big about going to the World Championships, there was that nagging adult voice in my brain that said "Don't let them get their hopes up too high or they'll be disappointed." So I tried to be the voice of reason, I tried to tell them that the odds were big, we were one small, relatively new team out of 10,000 teams worldwide. It was all stacked against us, but I was all for them trying. But they knew better. Somehow, they knew that they could do this. When I gathered them together at a local ice cream shop and told them the exciting news, there was no outburst of surprise. They blinked a few times and then smiled. They knew. They knew they could do this all along. I was the one who was not with the game, and that's a great lesson for me to take away. We can do so much more than we think we can if we refuse to let ourselves be limited.

This week, I checked out the DVD of Rudy from the library for our family to watch. If you love sports, any kind of sports, or cinderella stories, you've got to check out Sean Astin in this role. It's not a recent movie, but it's the true story of a kid who really wouldn't take no for an answer. From a blue collar family, he dreamed that one day he would play football for Notre Dame. Despite economic & educational obstacles and his own short stature, he refused to stop believing in his dream, and you know, he accomplished it too.

When I think about my Team in Training team members, the obstacles they're facing and overcoming on a daily basis, it inspires me. I love getting phone calls like the ones I got this week from team members: "I swam and it felt effortless!", "I ran for over an hour, can you believe that!", and all of this just because people think they can do something as amazing as a triathlon!

So yes, when my karate sensei has us all hollering about being a blackbelt, I'll yell it out "loud and proud" as they say in class. Because I do believe it. I can already see that black belt out there in my future, just like my kids could see that world championship in front of them. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....


TriGirl Thea said...

Words of wisdom indeed. I'm gonna chant it like a mantra when I am pushing through my long run this weekend. :)

OpenHeart said...

Rudy is one of my favorite movies of all time. I totally believe that having "heart" can make a huge difference. It really is all about attitude.

Ironmomma said...

As the Kona motivational video goes - In Ironman there is no I can't, only I can.

I'l keep saying "I can" when I do my 1st half Ironman at Cobra Cebu this August 2012 :)