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12 Days to Go: But I can’t

September 18, 2012

“Junk Art” Motorcycle
Available at Reed’s Run

Each year, I have a few people that pull me aside, and tell me that they want to run a 5k but that they just don’t think they can.  I totally get that.  If you followed along on my journey to finishing my first triathlon, then you would also know that my biggest hurdle to overcome was my personal fear of failure.  In the end, not only did I finish, but I beat my own personal best time.  Granted I was not gifted with any stellar athletic genes, but I did show up.  But before I started “showing up”, I used all kinds of excuses: getting older, out of shape, severe asthma, I hate running and the list goes on.

Thankfully the story of our “auction guy” does not parallel my own.  The first year of fundraising was Reed’s art show and the auction items were supposed to raise money for his trip to Australia.  The second year (1st Reed’s Run) the auction items were put together by the Reed’s Run team members.  But three was definitely a charm.  The third auction year was when a friend from church, who had been such a positive encourager for Sawyer during his rehabilitation, called and asked if he could help out with the auction.

My first response was “We aren’t in the business of turning down good help.” But in the back of my mind, I thought how much can one guy do.  My friend has had some struggles in his life – a severe learning disability, the death of his sister, and a few other things that would definitely knock some down. Not my friend.  Remember my list of excuses that kept me from keeping a promise I made to Reed & Sawyer about completing a triathlon.  It seems my friend never has time to pencil in the reasons why he cannot do something.

He just got down to business, and the auction items started rolling in.  And rolling in.  And rolling in.  He is amazing.  My gifts and talents do not include the ability to do what he does. I would be quaking in my boots going out soliciting donations and chatting with people I don’t know. At the first hint of no, I would be out the door.  Thankfully, that is not my friend’s method of operation; because without his diligent work, the auction would never be as successful as it is.

I have been thinking a lot about my friend’s commitment to our family and specifically to Reed’s Run.  I know that God has equipped each of us with talents to do His work, but sometimes, I am so afraid to fail that I don’t even start.  I am so glad that my friend doesn’t seem to possess that same gene. I am so blessed to know someone who seems all of life’s possibilities and not the potential problems.

So even if you don’t ever win a 5k, I believe there is a lot more “I CAN” in all of us, if we just show up and try.    I think my friend would definitely agree.  Hopefully, more of his attitude will rub off on me, so that the next time I come across a challenge, my answer will be “I KAN”!


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