Can’t Isn’t an Option

Some of the most valuable things I’ve learned in my life are these quotes;

“Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!”

I learned this during intense training, it was drilled in over and over again at moments I was already well past my limits physically and mentally.

Another pearl of wisdom was this quote which goes hand in hand with the other one:

“Keep moving!!! You slow down, you stop, and you die!”

The quote that probably drives me to blog and reach out to others in my day to day life is this:

“No one gets left behind!”

These fundamentals can bring you beyond your limitations; they’ve brought me through more situations in my life than I have time to talk about. I will say; What wouldn’t you be willing to do to survive, not live well or happy, just survive? When your situation means do or die, I suggest do.

Survival points;

I grew up around the tip of Lake Michigan. This is one of the things that made it easy for me to embrace these concepts because they were already part of my life. It gets cold; I’m talking 20 degrees below zero cold with a wind-chill factor of 60 below. If you go outside after a shower you can hear your hair freeze in seconds. This is a great reference because you absolutely have to keep moving “If you slow down, you stop, you freeze to death” “You never leave anyone behind” I was walking home once and it was a little over a mile, but in this kind of cold and wind 100 feet seem like a mile. It had been snowing for days, all of the roads were closed, and snow drifts were 13 feet high. I had walked about 3/4 of the way, and decided i was going to take a short cut across the golf course. I started up the embankment at the side of the road; my feet were plunging into the snow to my upper thigh with every step (about 3 feet). I got a little better than half way up and WOOOOOFFF! I dropped into the drifted snow up to my armpits. The snow was packed in enough that I could barely move. I was in trouble, already near frozen because I thought I was a bad ass and wasn’t dressed properly. I was wearing jeans with sweat pants under them, 2 t-shirts, a flannel, and a thin Harley Davidson, straight collar, Leather jacket without a liner, two pairs of socks and my hiking boots. With no gloves, no hat, and no scarf. I had been warming my hands under my arms, then warming my ears with my hands, and cupping my hands over my nose trying not to get frostbite. I would run this cycle over and over as my freezing hands were also my warming tools that I would constantly have to reheat.

So, here I am, stuck in a snow drift half frozen and I’m gassed. A real “Uh Oh!” moment. All I could move was my arms and I couldn’t reach anything. I had to do something, but couldn’t do anything. “Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!” There was a tree branch about a few feet away, so I began nudging the snow. Little by little I bumped forward, then back, then forward then back. The snow didn’t move much because I fell in the plow line and the top was packed. I rocked to and fro for what seemed like an eternity and finally I got a hold of the branch and dragged myself out. Freezing cold now, the wetness from being stuck in the snow froze my clothes. I continued on walking in 3 feet of snow feeling like I couldn’t take another step, but knowing to stop is to die. If you’ve ever been out in that environment for a while you know that everything aches, your feet hurt, your ears feel like they’re being cut off by the wind. Your hands and nose feel like ice icicles also being cut and burned, it can be brutal! Obviously, I survived, cold weather situations like that would happen. We broke down in a car with my Mom and she had blankets in the back. She hitched a ride with a trucker, because if we would have stayed there we would have froze to death. I think it was my Mom, oldest brother and I. (extreme examples or rant if you will)

The point is, no matter what obstacles or challenges we face in life we must push on. What matters is our survival. We then have an opportunity to make better choices, be more prepared (keep blankets in the trunk, dress warmer, steak a sign in the ground that says thin ice or crevasse). Over time and through life experience we learn not only to survive but to thrive. We can warn or help others be aware or overcome obstacles or dangers. Look at the Eskimos, look at people who have lost love and learned to love again, or people who were once in a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, that hated life itself, now love it and are filled with joy. I’m one of these people and you CAN be too.

Take these quotes and add them to your arsenal and when all else fails just keep going!

“Can’t isn’t an option when you have to!”

“Keep moving!!! You slow down, you stop, and you die!”

“No one gets left behind!”

“I can”

“i’m willing”

Love everyone, including yourself, you’re incredible, ~ J ~

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