Patrick Fellows is a 5 time Ironman, TEDx giving, 32 miles swimming, endurance coaching, healthy cooking, entrepreneur and musician.  Born in Dearborn, MI, raised in Mississippi and a Louisianian for 30 years, 



It will come as no surprise that I have a strong dislike for the word “can’t”. It’s like admitting defeat before something has even started. There are of course things that are beyond us and may actually not be possible, but by starting with “I can’t” we are actually just saying ”I choose not to try” and that’s just unacceptable. 

We can control so much more of what occurs in our lives. Effort matters and making/taking the harder more challenging choices in life is how growth happens. The easy road is littered with the unfulfilled. 

“Can’t” is always self fulfilling. Say you can’t and your effort will likely be lackluster. 

“Can’t” begets doubt. And doubt opens the windows into our psyche that snowball into negative performance in whatever we do. 

I’ve watched doubt change a runners form and effort. A physical manifestation of the mental. My athlete had decided ahead of time that he couldn’t run with a certain pack of runners. He went out with them, but when they ratcheted up the pace he chose not to hang onto the back and give himself a chance. He was dropped and finished far back of where he should. During this free fall his head hung, his stride shortened and he jogged it in.  

Conversely. I’ve had a runner go in with the belief that they could. After she started she settled in behind a runner who was going 4-5 seconds per lap faster than her best time. She was patient and realized she COULD hang on at that pace. She held on until the last lap and then dropped the girl on the last lap for a 30 sec PR in a two mile race. That’s dropping :15 per mile for for 2 miles. Belief is power. 

This mindset applies just as easy to all of life. I 100% know what I need to do to be more successful at the things I do. Sometimes I choose not to. That’s not cool, but it’s true.  All I have is my effort, so by being honest and realizing I am making this choice, I at least have an opportunity to right the ship. 

We all CAN.  We just have to CHOOSE to. 


I get to do this

Too much me. Not enough me.