Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Little Engine That Could....

Most people have heard of the tale of the The Little Engine That Could?

We do not have a copy of the original, but the story, for anyone unfamiliar, goes something like this:
A little switch train engine lived and worked at a big railway yard, for doing all sorts of work, like pulling a train carriages on and off the tracks and railway switches.

One morning, the little switch train engine was waiting for her next call, when a big long train of freight carriages and trucks asked a very large engine in the railway shed to take to lead and pull it over the hill.

"I can’t, that is too much a pull for me," said the great engine.

Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear lots of excuses, and to be refused.

In desperation, the train asked the little switch train engine to draw it up the steep track, and down on the other side. Nervously, little switch train engine agreed.

"I think I can," puffed the little switch train engine, and put herself in front of the great heavy train. As she went on, the little switch train engine kept bravely puffing, faster and faster:

"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."

As she neared the top of the very steep train track, which had so discouraged the larger engines, she went more slowly. However, she still kept saying, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." , despite being tired, and finding the job really hard.

She reached the top, by drawing on inner strength and a positive attitude. And then she went on down the track, congratulating herself, by saying, "I thought I could, I thought I could."

I've had to draw upon a lot of the wisdom that the little engine employs.
I have only seven weeks to go before I enter The McLaren Vale Half Marathon
I am training for this distance every Sunday morning

And this Sunday just past, I did the full distance of 22km (14 miles)
I trained in a loop. Five loops of the same circuit. Five.
By the end of the third loop, I found I was struggling a lot a little.
All I could think of was that it was too hard, too far, and that I couldn't do it. Couldn't go the distance.
As I headed up a (steep) hill on Montacute Road, I managed to recall the story of the Little Engine That Could.  I have no idea where it came from. It is truly amazing - how the brain drags out exactly what we need, when we need it?
So, one foot in front of the other, I trundled on, and managed my longest distance ever.

All I could do was imagine, in my minds eye, how shit I would feel if I gave up. In comparison to how brilliant I would feel if I just kept going.
It was not easy. But it was nowhere near as hard as I thought it was going to be.
Because I shifted from "I don't think I can" to "I think I can, I know I can"
So don't let anyone tell you you can't. You can. If you think you can, you can; and you will.

I completed the half marathon. I raised a lot of money. Revisting this post has made me very happy to recall all that I did last year.

I am rewinding this post as a part of Multiple Mum's Weekend Rewind. And then there were four is one of my all time fave blogs. Go have a look?


  1. I also use to have that book,but now for the life of me can't find it. Congrats on your distance i'm lucky to run round the park oval without bloody huffing 'n'puffing LOL....

  2. Congratulations Lucy. (I knew you could :P)

  3. So true.

    One of my favorite quotes: Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours. ~Richard Bach

  4. Well done Lucy - you rock!!!

  5. So glad you posted this Luce I have been wondering how your training has been going!! Well done to you xx

  6. I. Am. So. Proud. Of. You.
    You are a legend xxxx

  7. Well done Lucy! That is seriously awesome. Having something to aim for helps so much!

  8. Wow! You are fan-bloody-tastic!! :)

  9. Go Lucy go!! The power of positive thinking..

  10. Well done Lucy! That is quite an accomplishment. I'm glad the little train helped you up the hill - I will think of this post next time I am doing the Cliffy Young shuffle and wishing I could curl up and die!

  11. Fantastic! You should be sooo proud of yourself. I know I am. Keep it up!
    Oh and I love that book, one of my favourites, such a great message.

  12. You can, you can, you can!!!!

    My steam has totally run out for this marathon. I am definitely going on the city to bay though.

  13. You are so awesome! Way to go! :)

  14. Yay!!!! Amazing what positive self talk can do. YAY!!!!! You rock Lucy. That's amazing ....

  15. I can't believe I jus came upon your blog!! I am also training for my first half marathon and find the words from this book floating in my head as I do my long training runs...keep running!!! Enjoy your race!! You will do great because you "think"....NO because you "know" you can!!

  16. I remember this post. The Little Engine has helped me up many a hill in the last year! Thanks for Rewinding x

  17. Lucy, the take home message I get from this post is "Imagine how shit I will feel if I fail, and how brilliant I will feel if I just keep going". It's all about attitude. I will think of this next time I'm avoiding doing something hard. I do this a lot! x

  18. Love it! I'm so glad you gave us the update that you did it and in such style!

    Visiting from the Rewind.


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