There’s an American children’s story used to teach kids the value of hard work and believing in
yourself. It’s called The Little Engine that Could. The story revolves around a long train of
carriages that needs to be pulled over a high mountain. A number of larger engines are asked to
pull the train but – for various reasons – they refuse. Finally, the task is given to the only engine
who’ll accept – the smallest one in the yard. The little engine succeeds in pulling the train over
the mountain while repeating its mantra of “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
Lots of lessons in this little story. Not least of which, let’s be honest, revolves around the usage
of engine (the bit the driver sits in) vs. train (the carriages behind), which I’ve clearly been
getting wrong my whole life – who knew. But the main takeaway is the power of a little engine,
with a bit of heart.

I’ve had a rather rare few weeks of good fitness routine. And, as I’ve written about before, I’ve
begun to realise that functional fitness is going to come before the six pack, and is a lot more
important. Although, I am pleased to report that I purchased a size medium shirt over the
weekend – an upgrade from my regular small – and I spotted a stray ab in the mirror as I was
trying it on. Although, that could just be the great lighting in H&M.
Singular ab aside, however, I have noticed an increase in my fitness levels or – as Paul refers to
it – my engine. (Ya see, I wasn’t just spouting random kids stories above, I had a point.) I’d seen
hints of it before, but it really seemed to stand to me this week. I was doing my regular Monday
evening slot with Paul, and he had designed this fairly intense circuit that featured everyone’s
favourite – the Assault Bike.

So, we do the class in what feels like the longest 50 minutes of my life. And, at the end of the
class, while everyone is completely destroyed – I’m surprisingly ok. Now, I do struggle making it
up the 14 steps back to the changing rooms, and getting out of bed the next morning is an
ordeal. But, I survived ok and, after a rest on Tuesday, knocked out a decent 5k time on the
Wednesday. Back to the gym Thursday, and I’m sitting here on Saturday after the masterclass
this morning – so not a bad week for my Little Engine.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…