Reaching Beyond Limitations: Nike versus Yoda

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“Not running sucks” & “Don’t just RUN your mouth”

NIKE-shirt-Not-running-sucksI stopped short when I saw this Nike t-shirt display in a mall recently. I had to get a picture of these t-shirts and ask the salesman, “Do you sell a lot of these? Do people like them?” He said they do. I just smiled and thanked him for holding up a shirt.

Not being able to run does “suck” (a gross word I never use in real life btw). I used to run for an hour on the beach, and there is nothing like it. I miss it like I miss gardening and a million other things. (Like turning my neck to be able to back my truck out of a parking space.)

Of course the “Not running sucks” t-shirt wasn’t aimed sympathetically toward those who can’t run. It means: “Get off your butt and run.” And maybe “If you don’t, YOU suck,” since the companion shirt says, “Don’t just RUN your mouth.”

Nike is pushing pretty hard. What’s next? “Go running or go to hell?

NIKE-shirt-Man-up-or-shut-upAnother Nike t-shirt reads “Man up or shut up.” They’ve come a long way from “JUST DO IT.” I was never a huge fan of “Just Do It” anyway. It’s sort of a rip-off of Yoda’s unforgettable words: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

As much as I respect the Jedi master, that makes me uncomfortable too. A painful change in living with rheumatoid disease (RD) is that I’m often forced to answer with “I’ll try,” instead of just “Sure.” And, as pitiful as it sounds to admit, with RD, I’ve often tried my heart out – and failed. (Yes, even to run).

“Not running sucks” – yes, but so does ignorance

Yes, not running sucks. Constant pain sucks. Taking medications sucks. A calendar full of doctor’s appointments sucks.

There, I said it: sucks, sucks, sucks. Now what?

More than this crude matter we are, Nike

I don’t think Yoda (or George Lucas) meant any harm. Nike’s ad execs probably mean well too. But the culture can always use a reminder, and Yoda himself said: “Luminous beings are we; not this crude matter.” Regardless of what our physical bodies are able to accomplish (or not), we are certainly much more than that. Limitations in our physical bodies (none of us can grow wings to fly) can compel us to reach beyond ourselves, transcend our physical limitations, and grow spiritually.


How have you adjusted to “try” instead of “just do” sometimes? What senseless slogan bugs you? How have you transcended your physical limitations?


Recently certain personal matters have required my full attention, some of which have involved my health and that of family members. Many thanks to those who have expressed concern. I am sorry if my absence caused anyone to worry. It was unexpected and unavoidable. During recent struggles, I’ve been aware of God’s love for me and for each of us who perseveres in pain or adversity.
The mission of, providing information and encouragement to fight rheumatoid disease, remains a priority to me. Although we have made great strides, there are still huge steps right around the corner. I have just completed some critical repairs to the website and look forward to being online more often as I am able. However I may not be able to respond to every comment or email. Thank you for understanding.

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Very early in my RD journey, I lost a friend to the just do it approach. “Like I said, this was early in my living with RA process. So I did not think about how my friends would react to the Rheumatoid Arthritis. I assumed that they would accept me as they always had, and perhaps even sympathize…” Continue reading… The Use It or Lose It Approach to Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

I’ve tried to quit living with a chronic illness – who wants to spend her life fighting? “My odd list of things that keep me going: God, patients, mean people, and children.” Continue reading… Perseverance in Fighting Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 4:00 am and is filed under Communication and Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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