Food for Thought: You Never Know

Here is some mental food for thought from Compete Every Day.

"You have no idea what you are capable of until you try."

The weight felt great, actually lighter than it had been. I wanted to see how far I could go.

I joined a new gym a couple of weeks ago. It’s been a nice change of pace with a lot of bodyweight work. I’ve done more pushups in the last two weeks than I might have done in the previous year. So today, when we were doing bench press strength work, I decided to push myself a little bit.

My first four sets felt good, I was in unknown territory. I’d never done my fourth set for more than two reps and I’d just completed three without a spotter. My fifth and final set called for three reps at any choice weight. I felt good and was in the mindset of “let’s see how far I can go, even if I hit failure.” I decided to load the barbell with my personal best weight – and proceeded to do it for three reps.

It was the same weight that last month I barely got one rep on.

I was spent – but somehow energized after hitting a new best lift. It was the subtle reminder that I needed to push toward failure more often – and not just in the gym.

I’m guilty of staying within my boundaries sometimes. “Well, I’ve always been stopped here, so might as well not push further” is a mindset that I think many of us can relate to. We hit a wall and bounce off previously so we assume that we’ll do the same the next time we come to the wall. We don’t even try to run through it, instead settling for what we think can do.

And it’s always less than what we can actually do.

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You never know what you’re capable of until you try. It’s funny how a simple workout reminded me of that fact. We’ve got 34 days remaining in 2016. That’s over a month’s worth of time to push forward through at least one obstacle we’ve stopped at during the previous 11 months.

  • Talking to someone we like
  • Starting your first side-hustle
  • “Finding” the time to take that trip (here’s a hint, you have to make it to get through the wall)
  • Signing up for that [class/competition] that intimidates you because you know it’ll help you
  • Standing up for something you believe in and have been silent on so far this year

And the list goes on for each one of us.

But today, [Tuesday December 13], I challenge you to push yourself farther than you have. Try shattering that limit by taking a step forward this week and leaning into the wall. It’s fun to surprise yourself and do more than you originally thought possible.

Today is your day, Compete for it.