…they get in the way of happiness and enjoyment. They impede greatness and achievements. They ruin chances of living and being alive.

If it’s one thing that’s on my list that makes me sick then that would be excuses. I hate them. Like really hate them. If someone gives me an excuse I tend to become an ass and call them out. Your excuses are no different. By the end of this article your excuses will be worth nothing, actually, you’ll end up owing instead; not to me, you’ll be owing yourself!

I come from a family of over achievers: NFL, CFL, WHL, NHL, and Olympic-qualifying caliber type of family members. I won’t name drop because it’s not really my thing.

Being around people of that quality can have two outcomes:

  1. Jealousy and inadequacy
  2. Motivation and inspiration.

I’m not the jealous type. And I’m quite the perfectionist and over achiever, to a severe fault. Asked what my weakness is and I’d tell you, “I work harder than anyone and I don’t know when to quit or give up.” You might think that would be a strength, but I went so far once that I tore a ligament in my foot about eight years ago that messed me up and it still affects me even to this day.

I’m also a huge admirer of people who overcome adversity, trials, challenges, and continue to do so against all odds. There are world record holding swimmers in the club I joined and they’re seniors! I read about this 80 year old grandma who ran a 5km race in an impressive time of 33 minutes! There was this Sikh man who turned 100 and decided to do a marathon. He ended up up doing I think 3.

I don’t understand people who constantly blame and complain about things that are out of their control. I really don’t understand how people use time as an excuse, either. No one is that busy each and every single day. No one! Their problem is time management and priorities. Or worse, they have a mental illness and suffer from insomnia that leaves them exhausted, drained, and fatigued. Which would be a medical condition rather than an excuse.

I hate it when someone says to me that they’re too old to be active, and I point to my uncle who is in his 80s and he still kite surfs! He told me he’s taken it a lot easier these days because his joints are not how they used to be but he still hits the water. How fucking awesome is that?!

Or someone just creates shit for the other person doing something incredible like they know the motivation of that person! What the fuck? “OH, well, she probably must have blah blah blah to still be able to run.” Or, “He probably was blessed with good genes.” Maybe! But that’s not a good excuse. And how is THEIR genes even an excuse for YOU to not do something?! And it sure isn’t the reason he did something great or continues to do something! Imagine them saying, “I’m 75 and I still swim, bike and run because I have good genes.” Not likely! It’s more likely, “So what? I’m 75. I enjoy doing all those things. Beats being trapped at home doing nothing. And I’ll continue doing these things until my body gives out.”

When I point out to the person that they’re creating excuses out of nothing I eventually end up getting blamed (for fucking whatever reason that makes no sense to me at all) and I get yelled at because they always end up running out of excuses. It is when they run out of excuses that I get the best excuse on the planet: “You don’t understand because you’re not me. You don’t know me!” The only thing left for them is ad Hominem, or to attack. Does it change them? Nope! I’m not them, but trust me, I know and I understand completely.

People everyday do remarkable things. They don’t make excuses. They don’t let excuses get in the way of happiness or enjoyment. Greatness often came from working and trying. I’ve yet to read or know of someone who achieved greatness from making excuses.

My family member, I’ll call him J, played professional football and got wrecked by a defence man all on live TV. This guy cracked J’s rib and it affected his breathing. One day, at a family party, I tapped him on the chest and he flinched! This 6’5″ 250 lbs guy flinched by a tiny me, a 5’10” 140 lbs skinny guy. But he never used that as an excuse. Sure, he politely asked us not to make him laugh too much that day, but he still cracked jokes. He said that if it didn’t hurt so much to breathe he’d play. I see his point, kinda need to breathe, dontcha think? Besides, it was the coach that wanted him healthy and was ultimately the deciding factor for not letting J play. You know what J did instead? He still showed up to practice and he still hit the gym and he still made it to games!

I come from a very debilitating place filled with trauma and I force myself to do things my mind hates me for doing. My mind hates me so much it bombards me with thoughts of suicide. Yet, I still go on.

I fight a never ending battle with my mind. I have a disease called clinical (major) depression with severe post-traumatic stress and sometimes I can be so severely affected I become debilitated. I’ve never used my illness as an excuse for anything until my support group told me that it’s a damn good excuse to use. I still don’t use it as an excuse unless I’m feeling really shitty and suicidal. Even then, I still train, I still show up and I give it everything I’ve got even when my mind is kicking my ass. And even when I’m feeling that shitty I just say, “I don’t feel good.” That’s it.

About a year ago I wrote a short-film and found a producer to make it. They set up everything. I just had to show up on set ready to direct my little project. The day before filming started I was hit with a major depressive episode that left me feeling really sick and suicidal (I ended up reaching out to some stranger on the suicide hotline, something I’ve never done before). I almost did the unthinkable and pulled a no show (you can interpret this however you want). However, it took a tremendous amount of effort to face the stressful task of filming over a couple of days. Two 12-16 hour days plus weeks-upon-weeks of editing while severely sick was so frustrating and daunting. To make matters worse, my film was a comedy!!! Try finding humour and laughter when you’re depressed!

When I was injured with a ruptured right foot ligament, I relied on crutches to get around. One night at a party, my friend kicked my crutches from under me and I fell on the hardwood floor. I was pissed off and in a lot of pain. He told everyone not to help me up. He told everyone he didn’t want to hear any excuses and a lot of people were a bit concerned. They were defending me by telling him that I can’t walk because I ripped my ligament. He didn’t want to hear any of it. Instead, he presented me with a cane. He proceeded to tell me about when he crashed on his motorcycle and broke his leg in four places that the doctors said he may never walk properly again. He said, “Fuck that!” And he ditched his wheel chair and fast-tracked his rehabilitation and ended up walking and running faster than the doctors predicted. He only wanted the same for me.

Wanna know something else about my friend? He was fighting cancer at the time. Wanna know what else? He lost his battle to cancer but he was still a fighter to his dying day.

His final weeks he stayed in the hospital under palliative care. I knew he had a crazy sweet tooth and I bought him a bag full of chocolate bars and candy. He was so pissed at me because 1) he couldn’t resist and 2) he had steroid induced diabetes. A few days later when I returned to visit him, he didn’t say anything about the candy, in fact, he still behaved angrily towards me for bringing them in the first place. But everyone told me he would ask for candy after eating his meals. The bastard! He knew he was going to die, but he chose to live instead even if it meant dying along the way. He wasn’t scared of death. He was more frightened of not doing the things he always wanted while still alive and leaving his wife behind. Instead, he died knowing that he lived while giving his wife great moments to hold on to.

Maybe your excuses are preventing you from living? So, what’s your excuse, again? Thought so.