Friday, July 18, 2014

The Word CAN’T Does Not Exist by Amber Neben, Author of When Shmack Happens

Have you ever been through a hard time in life? Ever wondered why bad things happen? Amber Neben has you covered. The 2x Olympic cyclist for Team USA knows a thing or two about shmack- her word for describing adversity that comes our way in life. Follow Amber’s journey as she overcomes major obstacles both on and off the bike-and encourages you to join her in developing the perseverance, patience, perspective, and power than only Christ can give us. Very few people may know or understand what road cycling is, but everyone knows what it means to be an Olympian. The champion road cyclist chronicles her disappointments and failures, as well as amazing comebacks and victories-while thrilling audiences along the way with gripping stories of faith and hope. After reading When Shmack Happens, you’ll feel equipped and encouraged to face life’s tough moments, and find yourself cheering for Amber to get back on the bike…one more time. Learn what it means to be a spiritual champion in God’s eyes.

Purchase at:
Amazon UK and Amazon EU

The Word CAN’T Does Not Exist
by Amber Neben

When I was in fifth grade, I played on an AYSO soccer league team, a competitive soccer league team, and whatever sport I could at school.  My younger sister played recreational soccer, too.  Think about the number of practices during the week and the number of games on the weekend.  Somebody had to pick my sister and I up from school, take us to and from soccer practice every evening, and then to every game on the weekend.  My mom, who was also working a full time job, always made it happen.

One Saturday as we were scrambling from one game to the next, I was trying to change uniforms in the car.  Out of my mouth came a sentence that started with, “I can’t…”  My mom was quick to point out that the word can’t did not exist.  My fifth grade brain proceeded to argue that it did exist, and it was a contraction for cannot.  I had seen the word in books.  It existed!  But my mom wouldn’t buy my argument.  Instead, she continued to tell me that there was no such thing as can’t or I can’t.  At the time, I thought she had lost it.  Now, I am thankful for the can do attitude she instilled into me.

When we get tested in life, it is normal and often easier to think about what we cannot do.  I don’t make enough money, I’m not smart enough, I’m not good enough, there is no way I can handle this challenge, or there is no way I could ever lose the weight or give up the addictive substance.  The doubts and the excuses come quickly, and the easier road to travel is the one that requires less work.  However, in those same challenging times, there are always things we CAN do.  And if we choose to focus on what we can do instead of what we cannot do, we will be one step closer to overcoming the obstacle in front of us.  It can be a tedious process, and it often takes some guts.  However, huge goals are achieved and huge obstacles are overcome one step at a time. 

Let me give you an example using my rehab from this crash: .  Afterwards, as I recovered in the trauma center, I was hurt and broken.  My iliac crest was shattered, my nose was busted, and I had two cracked ribs.  Miraculously, that was all.  Obviously, there were a lot of things, including riding a bike, I could not do.   However, instead of thinking about all of those things, I chose to focus on what I could do.  I could trust God had me in His mighty hands, and He would give me the strength I needed in the moment.  Then, I could even smile.  Ten hours later, I could stand up on crutches.  (It was hard, and it took me three attempts spread over six hours, but I eventually did it.)  Over the next few months, I still could not move normally nor do the things I wanted to do, but I didn’t allow my brain to get caught on the “can’ts.”  Instead, I always made an intentional effort to shift my focus to what I could do.  With each new day, I could take one step more than the day before.   Instead of being discouraged by my limitations or how far I still had to go, I was encouraged by the progress I was making from my ‘pavement zero’ moment after hitting the wall. 

Your attitude and your effort are always something you can control.  Regardless of the storm that is pounding you or the obstacle in front of you, try to always see those things you CAN do.  And if you have had a pavement zero moment, keep it in perspective.  Allow it to be your new reference point, and from this new start point, take responsibility for what you can.  Set the goal that seems impossible, but don’t get buried by all the can’ts that stand in between the goal and its achievement.  Then, as you do what you can, one step and day at a time, you will inch your way toward accomplishing what you thought you could not do! 

It takes patience and perseverance in addition to the perspective.  It’s hard.  It’s very hard.  I know.  Crashes, cancer and many other SHMACKs have happened to me.  But every time I was challenged, when I trusted in Christ’s strength and used it instead of my own, I could always step.  He always gave me something I could do.  I just had to be willing to look for it.

Oh… and even though you may not always think so, your kids are actually listening to you.  They may not understand it in the moment, but you ARE making a lasting impact in their lives. 

Amber Neben is a decorated international road cyclist with victories in 11 countries and multiple UCI Category 1 stage race wins. She is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion, 2x Pan American Champion and 2x National Champion. She holds a B.S. from The University of Nebraska and an M.S. from UC Irvine. Amber and her husband, Jason, reside in Lake Forest, CA. For information on speaking engagements or coaching visit

When Shmack Happens Virtual Book Tour Schedule

July 7
Interview at The Book Connection
July 8
Book spotlight at As the Pages Turn
July 9
Book spotlight at Putting Words Down on Paper
July 10
Guest post at Beyond the Books
July 11
Book spotlight at Cheryl’s Book Nook
July 14
Book review at My Devotional Thoughts
July 15
Guest post at Literarily Speaking
July 16
First chapter reveal at Rebecca’s Writing Services
July 17
First chapter review at Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection
July 18
Interview at Blogcritics
July 21
July 22
Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life
July 23
Book review at I Hope You Dance
July 24
Book spotlight at Between the Covers
July 25
July 29
July 30
July 31
Book review at The Book Connection

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