Doing the Impossible

Okay, let’s start with the obvious.  If you do it, then was it really impossible?  Put a pin in that and we’ll get there.

First things first.  If you are the kind of person who is going to come to a talk about “doing the impossible” and think about Superman flying around and benching a bus or travelling through time and with your shitty little mouth say “See!  Some things are impossible!  Ha!  Suck it motivation guy!”

Allow me to respond…





You are a shitty negative person.  I am king of the shitty negative people and you are abusing the privilege.  Go fornicate with an iron rod, I have no use for you.

Now that that is out the way, let’s define the term.  By impossible I mean difficult to the degree that it seems unlikely to happen.  The statistical chance of failure is so high that success seems like only a matter of luck and not hard work.  That is my definition of impossible and it should be yours too.  More to my point you need to do more impossible things.

After my divorce I felt like I was released from prison.  I was on an upswing in health, which helped me mentally enough to survive the divorce, and I felt like for the first time in a long time I was in charge.  I spent so much energy “managing” my ex’s moods that I was restrained and limited.

I often relate moments in my life to movies and so it plays out in my head like this:

Conan Pushes the Wheel of Pain

For years I felt enslaved.

(Now let me be clear.  I enslaved myself in my own mind, but that’s a talk for another time.)

But when I was finally free.  I was powerful.  I was unbound.  The world was before me.  I was made stronger by looking back at my time on the wheel of pain.  I would never chain my mind or body again.

I did a lot of impossible things at that time.  Mostly just to prove things to myself (The only person worth proving anything to).

I had never considered myself an attractive guy.  So I tried to get a few dates and found it rather easy to do.  It wasn’t about getting a woman’s interest or sexual conquests.  These are petty things that put power into the hands of another.  It was about conquering my fears.  I didn’t think I was worth a woman’s time; that getting her to pay attention to me was impossible (there’s that word).  I opened an online dating profile the day I filed for divorce.  It was about my fear of “being out there” and getting over it.  Whether or not I succeeded at dating (whatever that means to you) is not the point.  I was afraid of the impossible thing and did it anyway.

I thought my glory days of getting in the ring and facing my fears, given form in an opponent, was over.  I had had a few fights before I was married and had since let myself really go.  I thought getting into a cage or a ring again was impossible.  But at 33 I worked hard, harder than I did at 18, and I got in there.  Now I’m no contender for the UFC; but that wasn’t the point.  I was afraid of something but I did it.  I overcame the fear and did the impossible.

One day I was looking at Living Social, as is my way.  I saw a deal for the Spartan Sprint.  5k 25+ obstacles.  Two weeks away.


That was my exact word as I clicked away.

Then it happened.  I felt my slave mentality that I had learned on the wheel of pain fall away.

“Fuck that.” I thought.  I clicked back and got out the credit card.

I ran my race.  I finished at the average time.  I did things I didn’t think possible.  The idea began to haunt me.  “What other impossible things could I have done?”

On the way out of the arena a guy handed me a flyer for the Spartan Beast in 6 months.

4 times the distance and obstacles I had just done.


Damnit!  There’s that word again.

Back to training I went.  I focused on running.  Made it a point push myself.

6 miles.

7 miles.

8 miles.

9 miles.

10 miles.

90 degrees.

100 degrees.

105 degrees.

Every week I pushed harder than I could before.  I tried again and again to force the impossible into the realm of my discipline.

I did the impossible.  I ran the Beast.

This year I will run ten races.


So, how did I do it?  How do I it?

I want to preface my answer.  I do not know if this mindset will work for you.  I don’t know your “wheel of pain”.  If any of this helps anyone then I’m glad to share it.

So, here goes…

To do the impossible, you must simply do the impossible.

I wanted to fight.

I needed to train.  I needed to get hit.  I needed to get back up.  I needed to get hit again.  I needed to give up everything bad in my diet.  I needed to push.  I needed to fall.  I needed to put myself into a world of pain.

I wanted to run.

I needed to walk.  I needed to jog.  I needed to run the stairs.  I needed to fall down.  I needed to break down.  I needed to run when it was cold.  I needed to run when it was hot.  I needed to run when others wouldn’t.

I wanted to not be afraid.

I needed to do what made me afraid.  I needed to decide that every time I saw fear there was no other way but through.

NOW, if you read all that I said to yourself.  It’s impossible… well then there you go.  If you cannot, will not, make the impossible steps leading up to the impossible leap then you are done.  You are where you are and you will go no further.  You are chained to your wheel of pain.  I mourn the loss of your greatness.

But if you can look at your diet and give up what you think you can’t live without.

If you can get at 5am, 4 am, discipline yourself to be in bed at 10pm.

If you can face what you are afraid of on sheer tyranny of your will.  If you can make a moments choice to live through the fear and face it down.

If you can do these impossible things…  Then you are ready to break the chains on your wheel of pain and you are ready to do THE Big Impossible Things.  You are ready to BE impossible.

Reborn and Breaking Chains



One thought on “Doing the Impossible

  1. Pingback: How to Lose and Love It | Insomniac Gorilla

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