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Courage and Limitations

Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.

James Paolinetti

I believe that imagination, courage and limitations go hand-in-hand and they’re the things that make us vital and who we are.

Too many times I’ve heard “I can’t” and whether it was said out of fear, lack of imagination or lack of desire to be vital it certainly limited the person who said it.

I mentioned to an acquaintance that I was going to participate in an event only to have him say, “what if you lose? Doc you know there are a lot of younger men competing against you.”

“WHAT IF I LOSE?” Now that was someone without ambition, courage or imagination. That’s someone with plenty of fear and an awful lot of insecurities and limitations.

I certainly didn’t let that stop me. I trained and when the day came I got in the arena and competed. I was there; I lived and enjoyed every moment and I wouldn’t change any part of it if I could.

Tom Krause said, “courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.”


I say that courage is the mastery of fear. Yes, starting into something new has a lot of unknowns and as long as you’re learning and growing and facing fears you’ll be out of your comfort zone. And that is how we expand our limits. If I gave into fear I never would have experienced the joy of being in the arena. I’ve experienced losing again and again but I didn’t lose my enthusiasm, I continued and then one day I won.

The many times that the medals were given to my opponents I still considered myself a winner because I was there, I was a worthy competitor and I lived the experience. But with me nowadays it’s all about being there and feeling truly alive and living the experience and that is winning. I’ve been there, done that and got the shirt and I have many shirts to prove it. And it’s because I didn’t give in to fear, I had the courage to imagine things and try them.

I still have many items on my bucket list and it seems that when I check one off, I add a new one. And that’s because I imagine things and say, “what if” and “why not”.

Back in May I competed in a triathlon and my children were there with Rosemary as spectators to watch dear ole Dad do his thing. Shortly after my daughter Francine arrived back home in Oklahoma she called to announce that she had decided to start training for an upcoming triathlon in Edmond Oklahoma. We’ve had many conversations about the upcoming event and yes she has expressed doubts and fears. But like me she shows courage and meets her fears head on and enjoys the experience. She does not let fear put limitations on her life.

If you don’t dream and imagine things you’re going to miss out on a lot of life. Show courage and let go of the familiar and try something new. Do that and you’ll be a stronger and more confident person.

Go out and test your courage and try something new and different and please don’t say I’m too old or I can’t because you’re not and you can. Remember the possibilities are limitless.



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