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What If I Told You That You Can?

It Couldn’t Be Done

By Edgar Albert Guest


Somebody said that it couldn’t be done

But he with a chuckle replied

That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

On his face. If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it!


Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;

At least no one ever has done it;”

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat

And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting or quiddit,

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.


There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

There are thousands to prophesy failure,

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing

That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.


Today I learned a valuable lesson.


A friend recently mentioned how he enjoys getting off the lift at the very top of the mountain and skiing non-stop to the bottom. Until that moment, I had never considered that anyone could or would do such a thing. Not that the idea is outlandish by any means. It’s just that I had never thought about it, likely because I assumed it was beyond my abilities. After all, it has only been a short while since I found myself able to ski from midway to the lower lodge non-stop.


Today I ventured to the top of the mountain. First time I have been up there this season. As I got off the chairlift, I thought about his comment and wondered what would it feel like to make it all the way to the bottom without stopping. As I skied, I realized I was making it further down the mountain than I had before without taking a break. My thighs were burning a bit and I thought about stopping, but my curiosity as to how far I could go overrode the discomfort and I continued on. As I was approaching the “Chicken Trail,” a spot where I always stop for a rest, my curiosity continued to urge me forward despite a now more moderate burn. Next thing I knew, I was in the home stretch for the lodge and I realized I had done it - ~2000 foot drop over 2.5 miles without stopping.


I made a couple more laps on the lower mountain and decided my last run of the day would be back to the top. Although I had intended to take a more leisurely trip down this time, I was compelled to see if I could ski it again without stopping. Was the first time just a fluke?


No, no it wasn’t.


Why was I suddenly able to do this when previously I had struggled to ski half that distance? What had changed?


What was different is that I knew it could be done. Whatever barrier I had artificially placed in my way was gone upon the casual mention that someone else did what I had never considered doing. That’s all it took.


How many more of those barriers do I unknowingly have? How much more of my life is limited because I assume that I can’t and therefore don’t try?


What about your life? What would you like to accomplish? What have you not tried because you think it can’t be done? Or that you can't do it? Have you ever given up because it feels too difficult? Do you think it is only others who can do it and not you?


What if I told you that you can do it? Would that change the outcome? What if you believed that it could be done? Would you then be able to do it?


Understand I worked hard to be able to accomplish this. I have spent months in the gym working out with a personal trainer three days per week specifically for skiing. I have taken private ski lessons and I continually work on form and technique. But today something changed. Today I accomplished something I had not even dreamed of doing and today, for the first time, skiing felt more like fun than work.


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