The “C” Word
There are some words that all coaches and trainers hate. We all have a list of words that make our skin crawl or blood boil. Our own verbal pet peeves but I think the “C” word is the most frequently used within many training facilities, and for me and what we do here at Contemporary Athlete is the most infuriating of all of them.
Can’t is a lack luster, poorly descriptive, half hearted word for quit. It is generally used for early onset defeat; a submission to mental weakness, or in most cases the fear of failure. It brings about uncomfortable feelings, warm ears, sweaty palms, nausea, and an intense desire to find the closest exit and to use it… quickly. Can’t flows like a fast running spring stream of verbal diarrhea preceding or following the why’s and how’s for not trying.
For me, this is a debilitating word. It can take an amazing training day, filled with the opportunity for greatness, PR’s, and personal growth and immediately send it into the workout wood chipper. The downward spiral of doomed feelings and tears trigger a good trainers highly honed training as an emotional triage expert and an a long toothed conversation about desire, and positive reinforcement quickly follows the dirty word can’t.
Can’t is a choice, it’s a choice to not try.
Now here is the happy part of this trainer’s rant, it starts with a question:
Why not choose TO try?
sounds exponentially better. It is much sexier. There is no hard consonant sound at the end of it. It’s shorter to say; so that is always nice for those of you that are endurance athletes looking to conserve energy. The best yet though, is it always ends with you smiling. (Yeah seriously, try that s**t out in the mirror)
By saying I can you accept the challenge, which lay ahead of you willingly and with a smile. So go out there and be a catalyst for awesome and stop standing in your own way, lead those around you with a smile. Best yet you won’t get up-charged by your trainer for the psychological services that will be offered for saying you can’t. Or the dry cleaning bill for crying on their clean training gear for saying you can’t.