Doing the thing you think you cannot do

March 7, 2012
Brandon's Run

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do” – Eleanor Roosevelt

When I was in high school, I told myself that I wasn’t a runner. ‘I have bad knees.’  This is a belief I held onto, and I believed it all the way into adulthood. I’ve always been a pretty active person, particularly when it comes to outdoor activities, but running had been completely off the table.

An interesting thing happened lately, though. I went for a run in the park across the street from my new home. It was only about 2.5 miles, but the pace was respectable (8’14” if I recall). I did it again a week later, and then again a few days after that.

Brandon's RunLast night, I went for my 4th ‘real’ run, and lo and behold, I blew past my previous distances and had a faster pace as well. I ended up doing 3.5 miles at an average pace of 7’51”.  Not bad.

For many years, I have participated in the annual Hunger Walk/Run benefiting the Atlanta Community Food Bank, but I have never done the Run portion of the event. I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to run this year. It’s just a 5K, so no big pressure or anything. Still, this was something I had simply not considered in years past.

I also increased my personal fundraising goal to $1500 – 50% over last year’s goal.

That’s a serious commitment, but one that I’m compelled to fulfill.

The work of the Atlanta Community Food Bank is critical to helping provide assistance to those in need in the North Georgia area. The ACFB distributed 34% more food and grocery products to partner agencies last year than in the previous year. That’s a huge increase in distribution and it underscores the ever-increasing need for these services out in the community.

I’m asking for your help to meet my goal today which will help the ACFB’s ongoing efforts to provide relief from hunger and poverty in our community.

Any and all support is greatly appreciated. 

Please click here to make a donation and sponsor my first ever 5K run.

We tell ourselves stories all the time; stories about our bodies, our abilities (physical, mental, occupational, etc.), about what the world is like, and stories about what is possible. Sometimes we need to stop and consider where these stories came from and if they still apply.

When we believe we can’t do something, we are right. As long as we hold a belief, it’s virtually guaranteed that our world will manifest based around that belief. But what happens when we challenge these beliefs?  Is it possible to change our experience of the world quickly?

You bet.

And last night, I proved it.

This coming Sunday, I’ll line up with thousands of other people who are coming out to participate in the Hunger Walk/Run here in Atlanta, and for the first time in my 37 years on this planet, I’ll run an acutal 5K race.

‘I’m not a runner’ is no longer a belief I hold.

Instead, I believe that I rise to the challenges that are put before me.

If you would like to support my effort to meet my fundraising challenge, please click here to make a donation.

What about you? Are there stories you tell yourself and beliefs you hold that are limiting your potential? Consider how your world might change if you alter these beliefs.

Speaking of stories and what is possible, check out this amazingly inspiring TED talk by Peter Diamandis from last month’s TED conference – it’s called Abundance is our future. It’s one of the best I’ve watched yet.

What beliefs can you challenge today to push yourself further than you think is possible right now?


  • Reply Michaelludin March 13, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Brandon,years ago the first time I ran at 40, my trainer said what kind of runner are you?I said, “I am not.”  He said, I realize that but when you were a kid how did you run [i.e. sprint, jog, casually], my answer was the only kind of running I did was “away”.  That was in September.  By November of that year I was doing a half-marathon for my long-runs and on December 5th I ran in my first and last marathon. I have not run a block since.  Sure I finished, and I always knew I would.  After the half-maratho you just  stop counting how far.  I never got the runner’s high, never felt my legs just going automatically like a machine. Instead I felt — what the heck am I doing — everything hurts, and there is not even a latte at the finish line — WTF!?!  Then I realized it was the rigid 12 weeks of training that made me feel good and be in the best shape ever — the sense of accomplishment even though I was in the bottom half of finishers — somewhere between the bottom half and the bottom third. I could now cross this off the bucket list.  I almost forgot where I was going here — in recounting this.  Oh yeah, My first 5k I walked in 55 minutes.  My second 6 weeks later after 6 weeks of training was 35 minutes.  My first 10k in the 9th week was in 1:05 and so on.  They were fun and so much less daunting.  I wish I would have stuck with the 5k and 10k’s — then I would probably be running today, calling you and saying — let’s go for a run!   

    • Reply Brandon Sutton March 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

       Thanks for sharing this story with me, Mike.  I can relate to the feeling of questioning why we do these things.  I am not interested in getting into any sort of competitive  running – I want to enjoy it because it’s fun.  At the point that it is no longer enjoyable, I’ll probably revert back to casual runs in the park. It’s a way for me to be connected with the outdoors and get some blood flowing in the process.  Perhaps it will usher in a new era of physical fitness as well.  🙂

      Let me know if you get back to running. And thanks again for sharing your story.

  • Reply 21 Minutes 58 Seconds March 19, 2012 at 10:00 am

    […] wrote about my reasons for not running before in an earlier post, and in all honesty I was still slightly unsure of how my endurance would hold out in the actual […]

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