Pushing Yourself to the Limit

Everyone has their limits, but like speed limits, they are meant to be broken. Whether it is working your a** off saving money for something important to you, or getting that extra mile in during a run. Either way, we reach that point in our heads where we have a choice, quit now, or work harder to the finish line. We have all had that moment in our lives. For me, one of those moments was tonight.

I have never been a talented runner. A snail could do laps around me.

Here’s a picture of a snail I took today

However, that has never stopped me from running. While it is a challenge to find the motivation, it is still found. Tonight, I had a choice: Run the hardest and fastest I could, or run at my usual pace. I chose option A.

Tonight, I broke the 10 minute per mile pace. Now, for most runners, that is a pretty horrible pace. But tonight, that didn’t matter. It mattered that I pushed myself to go as fast as I physically could. Will I be feeling this in the morning? You betcha. But was it worth it? Oh yeah! Pushing yourself to the limit is what pushes the human race forward. Had Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak not pushed themselves to make an incredible computer in Jobs’ garage, you wouldn’t be reading this off of an iPhone. Humans were born to push themselves to the limit. Without limits to break, we have no motive in life. Breaking the 10 minute mile pace was simply one limit. Now I will strive to be faster and stronger every time I step foot out of my door in running shoes.

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life” — Muhammad Ali

What is stopping you from pushing past your limit? Is it fear of the unknown? A weak mindset? You cannot let yourself be held back by these limitations you have made in your head. They are not real. The only thing that is real is the mindset you must have in reaching your goal. Only once your goal has been made can you look back and smile, but even then only for a moment, for you have more goals to accomplish.

Lately, I’ve been trying to get past the famous “Laziness barrier” with the summer granting many promises. I made a few goals that I’ve been trying to stick with this summer: learn more and more about photography, make some money for a rainy day or two, and run more than I did previously, so a few times a week — harder and faster every time. But I’ve found myself giving excuses to myself on why I can’t do these goals. I have given myself fake barriers that are preventing me from reaching my goals. This is where you reach the point where you have that choice to push through and succeed, or fall back and regret your decisions forever.

Tonight was a great first step in staying with one of my goals. However, it is only just the beginning. You have to continue to push yourself forward to reach your goals. This is never done overnight. It is not a sprint, but a marathon. It is incredibly easy to lose motivation. There are 1000 to 1 reasons to quit over to stay with it. You must ignore that 1000 and only listen to that 1 reason. Work hard, earn whatever it is, and stick with it. Push yourself forward towards your goals.

A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. One of my all time favorite quotes is by Henry David Thoreau, an author. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” To me, that speaks a million words. Who you grow as you reach your goals is who you become as a person.

Recently, my mind hit a breaking point. I was sick and tired of who I was as a lazy person. It made me annoyed at who I was and where I was going. I wanted to punch a wall (a huuuuuuuge wall) and give up on myself. But I didn’t. I simply put on my pair of running shoes, and I ran out my door, with the mindset of getting it done. That was it. No discussion, no planning, I just got up and go. For some people, that works. For others, it has to be gradual steps towards their goals.

In succeeding, you have to find what motivates you to push yourself forward. What drives you to the very core of existence? What drives you to take the next step? Find that drive, and hold onto it for dear life. So go work your a** off, reach your goals, and be proud of yourself instead of being distraught with yourself and angry, filled with regret to the core.

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