Life often presents challenges and roadblocks that can seem insurmountable.  In fact they are all impossible until they are overcome.   All our goals at one time were beyond us, unattainable until we achieved them.

Think/Able, a project of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and inspired by Michael J Fox himself, represents the power of optimism and of community.

There is energy and momentum in the simple act of positive thinking, and while it is not everything, it is the foundation for future success and fulfillment.  The consistent application of a positive perspective is a deliberate and practiced behavior requiring it's own diligence. Not only are the fruits of this labor enriching but also in many ways come to define who we are.

Both success and failure represent progress. It is how we respond, how we interpret our experiences that precipitate and motivate our steps forward.  These actions in aggregate become the path we walk.  While we may not accomplish everything we hope to, we can decide how we view our journey, and how we appreciate the gifts in our lives.  These things are within us.  There will always be reasons to not do something, reasons to stop, to give up, but as we cast these aside we begin to manifest our own future.

As I watch friends living with Parkinson's run marathons, and thrive, I can't help but be swept up in the strength these acts imbue. The people in our lives have a tremendous influence on our state of mind, and as a result, our potential achievements. I am thankful to have a community that provides me with daily reminders of the indomitable power of the human spirit.

Every day I work to apply this perspective to my own marathon training.  I run as a part of TEAMFOX (the grassroots fundraising program of the Michael J. Fox Foundation), a committed group with a single goal -- to end Parkinson's. It is this community that helps to push me forward. They are my accountability -- an accountability first to myself to let go of the fear of failure and embrace the discomfort of the unprecedented.

It has been said that the marathon is a quest for more life.  It is an example of a journey that at its core demands self-belief, particularly in the face of seemingly unconquerable goals. As we begin to challenge what has come to be accepted and expected of us, we leave behind the comfortable and confining boxes we once resided in to achieve what we are truly capable of.

We all have our own "marathons" and our success is as much in our perspective as it is in our performance. Think/Able is a reminder of the power within all of us to overcome, and the ability we have to inspire others to new heights.

I can and I will. We can and we will.