I Think I Can… No… I KNOW I Can…

One of my favorite books as a child was New Kids On the Block:  The Right Stuff … Now y’all know the secret to my brilliance (and by brilliance I really mean overcompensation for my Attention Deficit Disorder… see, I can’t help the tangents, it’s a dagnabbed disorder!)  Okay, I never owned any books about NKOB… I’m really referring to The Little Engine That Could. 

For those who spent their childhood summering with the Amish, The Little Engine That Could is about a little engine (d’oh… OBVIOUS ALERT!) who was asked to pull a much bigger train over a large mountain.  No one thought he could do it, but the engine succeeded in pulling the train over the mountain by chanting his motto:  I Think I Can!   

That background out of the way… early last summer (2010), I still weighed over 400 pounds… walking long distances was still quite a task for me due to my “large” load and out of shapitis.  So, I stuck to my short walking routes… they had to have an incline of no more than 1 degree and I’d have preferred to use a wheelchair.  I remember one day last summer I thought I’d try this new road.  I liked it because it was off the beaten path, had some fun countryish scenery, and little to no traffic!  Bonus… unless I happened to want to get run over by a bus.  So, I took off up the road.  A few steps in and I discovered that the incline was more like 45 degrees and heck if there were any wheelchairs sitting on the sides of the road (I looked!)  It became pretty obvious that I wasn’t going to make it all the way to the top (only about 1.5 miles long, but uphill and I wasn’t used to lugging my tucus up anything that wasn’t flat).  Fifteen minutes into the walk and I hadn’t even been a quarter of a mile… I was sweating profusely, so out of breath I thought I might hyperventilate, and my legs were cramping up so badly, I probably could have joined the circus as the amazing cramping leg lady!   “Nope… no way… can’t do this!”  And so it was… I turned around and walked downhill back to my car. 

The bottom looking up…

 I quickly forgot about that road. I’ve been walking at least 4 to 6 times a week for a year and a half now, slowly building up my strength and stamina as I was shedding the pounds… forget you, FAT ZAPPER 3000!  Inclines/hills/mountains still make me nervous… I’ve conditioned my brain to automatically tell myself I can’t do it… I can’t do it… I’ve tried before and I couldn’t do it.  I revisited that road this past Saturday, thinking, maybe I’ll make it halfway up and then I can use a wheelchair to coast on down again… 15 miles per hour my rear recepticle.  You ever seen a fat woman going down a hill on wheels?  She ain’t going 15 mph, I tell you that much!  I took off not thinking much about it… the previous time I’d tried it, I was second guessing myself with every step.  This time, I just enjoyed the scenery… and before I knew it… I was up at the top looking down on the minions of I can’t do its I was so fond of chanting last summer. 

The top looking down...

Pretty sure I sat against that barbed wire fence at the top (um OUCH!!) and shed a few tears of joy.  I accomplished something that was nearly impossible less than a year ago… and it gave me confidence.  Confidence to try tougher hills (put away the rappelling gear… I ain’t that crazy confident… I think you need more muscle than bird bumps!)  I also learned that my attitude should never be I can’t or I think I can.  It needs to be changed right now to I know I can!  And that’s that… I’m the little engine that couldn’t, but can now!

Question of the Day:  What is your next desired accomplishment… your mountain? 



Filed under Exercise, Nonscale Victories

27 responses to “I Think I Can… No… I KNOW I Can…

  1. deannawade@gmail.com

    Way to go Whitney. I am just amazed at how much of your writing hits home with me. And you make it so fun to read. Congratulations on your “hill.” You have inspired me to hit a few mountains-literally. I also need to add incline to my walk–maybe the Menan Butte???? Thanks for the inspirations.

    • It’s surprising how similar everyone’s weight loss journey is… no matter if you have 300 pounds to lose or 10 pounds! I don’t think I’ve ever been to the Menan Butte!

  2. Jen Nelson

    It is always so inspiring to hear of your progress and determination. My goal is to be able to dance on pointe shoes. Right now, it is a physically impossible goal. It amazes me that anyone at all can actually do that, so if I ever get there, then that will be a miracle.

  3. THAT makes ME feel good too 🙂

  4. Lindsay

    Hooray for yoU!

  5. kim

    Boy did I need to read this today! I’m where you were a year ago and I just need to do this and quit putting it off…this is not an impossible task as you’ve proven! Thanks for the much needed motivation!

    • Hey Kim! I was thinking about you just the other day as I hadn’t seen you! Glad you are still around. I believe in you… now you just need to find that little bit of believing in yourself!

  6. Dessa Wade

    I KNOW you can too Whit! My mountain would be learning how to swim but I’m not ready to climb that mountain yet. Keep inspiring me Whit!

  7. Rex Wade

    Great!! attitude Whit, with that type of attitude and your determination you can accomplish anything you want A proud dad sits on the side cheering you on!!

  8. Melissa Cobb

    I love your blog! Way to go on the hill! Amazing! My mountain is a half marathon in October. I have always hated running, up until now. Its hard, but worth the fight 🙂

  9. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    That is an amazing accomplishment, Whitney!! So proud of you.
    Everyone has to start somewhere!
    You conquered it and you will continue to conquer it b/c you will keep getting stronger and more stamina.
    You will conquer any goal you set…b/c now you do have the right mindset.
    I know I can…I know I can…I know I can!!!

    Question of the Day: What is your next desired accomplishment… your mountain?

    Well May shines bright and new and is just around the corner. I reached my mini-goal plus some and lost 24lbs so far ( just since March 1). I am very happy with that and now I want more.
    I have set a new challenge for myself and will be even more active since the weather is improving all the time.
    I am walking, doing Tae Bo 6 days a week, push mowing the yard, riding horses, and playing indoor volleyball.
    Sand volleyball is coming up for my daughter and I am determined to give it my best to help her practice (which is terrific for me).

    I only weigh once a month, so I have a lot of moving to do.
    I want to get another 10 lbs off by the next weigh-in
    (end of May).
    Twenty lbs off by my birthday (at the end of June).
    This will get me close to the 200 mark and maybe under 200 by the time the heat of summer gets here ( I know I can, I know I can, I know I can)!.
    I think I will be so much more comfortable this summer than I have in yrs. YAY!

    • That is totally an awesome loss, Louisa! I love that you have so many activities planned now that the weather permits… You will see that Onederland mark before you know it!

  10. Samerah

    Thats awesome!! Congrats chica!! **top gun high five**

    Last spring after hurting my knee for the umteenth time I was telling myself I wasn’t ever going to be able to run. Too big, too broken (knees a bit messed up from a car accident), wasn’t going to happen. This spring I’ve been running with no problems so far (knock on wood!!) sooo I got overconfident and registered for a marathon this Oct. Been hearing a lot of skepticism (from my own minions but also from friends and family) but most of the time I think I can! Thats my next mountain. Its far off in the distance but I’m working for it everyday!

    • Alright!!! That is way awesome! I don’t think you got overconfident at all. I think you are totally a capable, hard working woman who has now found the joy in exercise. I’ll be excited to see what you run that marathon in! Sending your knee stable thoughts!

  11. cl2

    Not to get off track–but I just read your reply to my PEEPs post–and you said “where Ruby Tuesday’s used to be.” Did they close????

    We have A LOT of hills out here in Hyrum. You can go up one steep hill and down another every other block for 2-1/2 miles from my house (yep, I’ve done it)–but I’ve been lazy the last 2 weeks and haven’t walked at all. I’m at a speed bump right now.

    By the way, I was just cleaning my son’s “old” room and went through the stuff I’ve saved for him from his childhood and his favorite book was the one you pictured here–same cover, etc. He loved trains.

    • Isn’t it sad, Colleen… Ruby Tuesday did close. I didn’t know about it until I drove by it one day and the signage was all taken down. I bet you Texas Roadhouse kicked it out of here when they opened across the street.

      DEFINITELY know the speed bumps… you’ll cross it… no problems!

      Ironic about you finding that same book in your son’s room!!

  12. Ally

    Whitney that is so wonderful. I too am crying tears of joy for you right now! I am so happy for you. What a huge accomplishment. I wish you many more conquered mountains. I “know you can”!

  13. Amber Raber

    Whitney, this is Amber Dewey, I have been thinking about you and your family lately (I have so many fun memories of your house) and was talking to Rachel Murdoch on the phone today and asked her if she ever sees you (she lives in Logan now!) she said no but that you have an amazing blog… three hours later I have read your entire blog and I think you are amazing, this is the most inspiration writing and blog I have ever read, so thank you, my day is so much better because of you. Tell your family hello (I loved the pictures of the 3 of you at Calaways) and I will be checking your blog each day.

    Is your cat really still alive?

    • AMBER!! The long lost Amber from the olden days!! I think of you every so often and always wonder what you are up to! DO TELL! Are you still in Alaska? What are you doing?

      That must have been quite the feat to read my whole blog… rambling and nonsense and all! I can barely read one entry when I’m writing it!

      When I saw your name, I immediately remembered the first time you invited me over to your house… I was about 10 or 11 and you offered me some Kool Aid that you just made… but you had forgotten to mix it… so it was basically water with a bit of redness. Crazy what you remember about people!

      And yes, Geezer Cat is still alive… about 21 now and going strong (blind, deaf, and lazy). I know how much you loved her and her drooling and shedding habit! 😛

  14. Pingback: The Craving A Life Blogscars: The Posts… « craving a life

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