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No such word...

Paul MacCormack


Posted ImageA few posts back we talked about words that should be banished from your lexicon (Speak No Evil). The first word on the list was can't. Its one of those words that we use and hear so often that it becomes commonplace. But have you ever really stopped to think that it really doesn't stand up to scrutiny? Think about all of the things in greenkeeping that people have told us we can't do: roll constantly, water for an hour at a time, grow bentgrass without poa, and this list goes on and on.


It's the same in life. All our lives those around us who fear the unknown tell us that we can't. You can't climb that tree, you can't pass that test, you can't lose that weight, or my personal favorite, you can't change. We hear these phrases over and over and they become accepted truth.  It is not until we come upon those in our society that have the courage to disagree that we begin to see the light.


A couple of weeks back I stumbled upon such a person while reading an article in the Globe and Mail by Sean Silcoff. He spoke about a guy named Ray Zahab, a regular Joe like you and me who turned his life around from one filled with dead end jobs and poor lifestyle choices to one of meaning. Some might say his radical transformation borders on insanity, while others find his message inspirational. You see Ray is an ultramarathon runner; or rather, he goes beyond even traditional ultramarathoning and practices something much more extreme.


He is now running 2300 km (1430 miles for my American friends) across the Gobi Desert. It will take him a month to complete the journey. He will run approximately 70 km (44 miles) per day in desert conditions.  Despite consuming 5000 calories per day he will lose 25 lbs (he only weighs 153). If you're thinking he can't, or its impossible, think again. He has already run across the Sahara Desert.


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There were two interesting points to Ray's story. The most fascinating aspect of his approach is that he is much more focused on the personal journey rather than the run itself. The run is simply a means to personal discovery which allows him to show the world that nothing is beyond our grasp.


The second, more salient part about Ray Zahab is the charity foundation that he established. It is called Impossible 2 Possible. Its mission is to inspire young people to realize that nothing is impossible, and there is no such word as can't.


Reading his story just reinforced the notion that if you put your intention on it, then the word can't does not even enter the conversation because it is no longer part of your vernacular. Whether it's a salesman telling you that you can't grow bentgrass without verticutting, or it's the naysayer in your life reminding you yet again that something you believe in is not possible, just politely disagree and remind yourself that anything is possible. 


Try using Rays mantra, I say its 90% mental, and the rest is in your head.


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