Never put a ceiling on what you can achieve. Never put a limit on what you believe you are capable of. Never say never.
It’s something I keep banging on about but it’s so frustrating when people convince themselves they’ve done all they can, that they’ve no more to give. Trust me, you haven’t done all you’re capable of and you have much more to give.
You are assuming you can go no further, but in truth you have no idea. As a rule of thumb, remember this: Your body is capable of far more than you give it credit for and much of your inner strength lies undetected until you go looking for it. You don’t even realise it’s there until you dig deep and discover it.
That’s why when I was massively overweight I had no idea how I could turn my life around and survive the loss of Diane. But I looked in the mirror and we decided I’d try.
When I joined Smithills gym, I had no idea whether I would be able to get fit, but I wanted to see if I could. The point is, when I looked in that mirror and when I signed up to the gym, the only thing I knew about what would happen next was that... I didn’t know. All I knew was that the future was a mystery, unwritten. And I have spent my life looking at blank pieces of paper and dreaming up stories. Time to see what story I myself was capable of.
So when on a sunny September morning in Salford Quays I lined up with hundreds of other runners for my first ever 5K I was terrified. I had no idea whether I’d be able to do it. But no-one was going to tell me I couldn’t. I had to find that out for myself.
I had no idea as I took those first few tentative steps outside the Lowry that just over two years later I’d be standing in a caravan park in Rivington on my 60th birthday staring along the lane towards those daunting hills leading up to the Pike and about to see if I could tackle one of the toughest marathons in the country.
Time to dig a little deeper and see if there was anything left in that uncharted well of determination inside. I had the inner belief. Did I have anything left to back it up? As 9am and the start of the run approached I had no idea. That’s where the adventure begins, that’s the buzz you get from testing yourself in ways you never believed possible and still aren’t sure if they are!
Luckily, there was still enough left in me, even if it took a long time and the company of wonderful friends to get me through it.
Now comes the next motto: If I can do it, anyone can. There’s nothing special about me, there’s nothing I have that you don’t. I’m just not prepared to accept that I can’t do something until I prove it to myself by falling flat on my face attempting it. I’m sure at some point in the future that will happen, that I will bite off more than I can chew and take on a challenge I can’t rise to. But I’ll be damned if I’ll let anyone else decide when and what that is. I’m in charge of finding that out.
Your dreams need room to take flight, they need the freedom to take you places you never imagined. Don’t put them in a cage and just stare at them now and then, like watching a proud wild animal in a zoo.
Unlock the cage and let your dreams out. Like those animals in the zoo, they are much better off in the wild, running free.