Posted by: altmike | June 6, 2016

Overcoming “Can’t” Moments

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Think back to the last time you doubted yourself, think to when you felt incapable of accomplishing something. What went through your mind? Why did you doubt yourself, what was your drive to keep going? These small moments that could happen on a daily, weekly or monthly basis are actually defining moments for our present and our future. I call these “Can’t Moments.” We think in the moment, there is no way in hell I’m going to be able to do this and we either fall down one of two paths. We either quit and fulfill that “cant” mentality or we persevere, stare can’t right in the face and say “watch me.”

I had one of these moments in the past couple of days. To give you a little context, I am an avid runner in the city where I live and love running in the local events around town. Each year there is an event called the Reno Tahoe odyssey that is a 178 mile run that consists of a 12 person team that takes turns running legs that begin in downtown Reno, goes through Truckee around Tahoe, through Virginia City and ends back in downtown Reno.

I have never done this event before and for the past two weeks I had been trying to get on a team but to no avail and with two days until the race by a twist of fate I saw a friend post on Facebook of all places that she needed another runner to complete  her team….BOOM! I was just the person for the job. Now, when I say that I’m an avid runner, I mean that when there is an event that I sign up for I train and go the whole nine yards, however since with this situation, my chances of finding a team seemed unlikely the past week so I fell of the training wagon in a big way.

My mentality going into any race is to first and foremost never stop running at any point at time. If that means I have to jog at a snail’s pace that is fine as long as I never completely stop motion. The second goal that I have is to push myself to my utter limits and try to compete against every person around me to push me towards reaching personal records….That being said, my mentality going into this race was much different. Since I had hardly any training and I would being running the most I ever had in a 30 hour period, my goal was simply to just finish and not die.

Once I started running however, I fell back into that competitive passionate mentality with a chip on my shoulder. I got through the first leg without stopping a running at a decent pace and feeling unstopable. My second leg was at 3:30 in the morning with the same drive and persistence as the first. Once I got to my third leg which was in the heat of the day at 3pm with fatigue and utter exhaustion set in I pushed myself literally to my limits. My last leg consisted of 6.2 miles. Each mile I contemplated stopping and walking once I finished the next mile. I would get to the next mile and tell myself, no you just thought you were going to quit the last mile and you didn’t,  you can’t quit now! This continued every mile thereafter.

After running 5 of 6.2 miles my “can’t moment” set in. I had to run up windy hill for my last mile which is  an incline of around 150 feet.  I thought to myself, I have to stop, I don’t think I can make it up this…I need to walk…this was it…I was about to give into “can’t”

Then, I remembered why I was running in the first place. It’s my passion, my drug, my drive. I started thinking about having to tell the ones I loved that I ran the whole race EXCEPT for this one part and I couldn’t bring myself to tell people that. I started thinking about my niece, my grandparents, and my cousins looking over me from above and giving me strength to continue what I started. It sparked me! I couldn’t let them down, I couldn’t let myself down!

Sweat pouring, breathes becoming harder and more muscles becoming sore by the minute, my drive took over and I finished that damn leg with every ounce of effort I could possibly exert. I overcame that moments “Can’t”….I persevered in its face and said, “Try and stop me!”

I am not an anomaly by any means and I completely believe that every single one of us possess the ability to overcome each of our personal “Can’t Moments”

Don’t ever sell yourself short, don’t give into the mentality that you aren’t good, enough, strong enough, smart enough…Tap into what makes you tick and what drives you and don’t ever look back!

Can’t is not an Excuse



  1. And this is why you inspire everyone you encounter. Thank you Mike for sharing your beautiful and motivational thoughts!

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