I was watching the one of the several trailers for the new Superman movie and one of the lines from the trailer talks about "testing limits". Basically, what they were saying is that to know what a person's limits are, they have to attempt to surpass them.
Sounds simple doesn't it. I just keep pushing myself until I fail and that's where my limit is.
There is some truth here but the picture is completely painted with this analogy..
As a runner, I am constantly testing my limits. I want to try to exceed them. If I run a 5:24 mile, then I want to run a 5:18 mile, and then I want to run a 5:12.
But are these really limits are just hurdles that I hit on the way to my limit.
I think all limits are linked back to two areas: mental drive and then talent/training.
Training makes me better. It makes me stronger. It gives me a better chance of achieving my goal and overcoming my natural limits. Talent, well talent is just that. I freely admit that some people are just more naturally gifted to perform certain task betters than others. I cannot throw a baseball at 100 mph. I can probably shot 5 out 10 from the free through line. I could probably hit a golf ball several hundred yards, but I would hardly say that I am gifted at any of these sports or most any sport. I will also have to admit that I don't do any training for any of these sports so I should be expecting to "rock" the world.
Then, there is mental drive. Mental drive is an intangible asset that lies within all of us. Mental drive pushes us to excel. It makes us train hard and race even harder. More than a few times, I have see exceeding talented runners that my gut says have not raced up to their limits because they lack the mental drive to do it. This may sound like a criticism but it really isn't. I recognize that training hard and pushing their bodies just isn't a priority for them. There is nothing wrong with going through life this way. By all accounts, they are leading perfectly happy normal lives. But boy sometimes, I just wish they could see what I see and made the effort.
When I started writing this piece, I thought I knew what I wanted to say. However, as the words flew down and out my finger times, on to the key pad, and in this blog post, I realized something even more important.
Maybe the real limit factor in exceeding our limits is not mental or training or talent. Time is really the limit that we all "but" our heads against. A very few individuals actually earn enough income from their said sport full time. The rest of us fuel our love of physical activity around families and work primarily.
In the end, we all test our "limits" within the confines of the lives that we lead. Being happy, healthy, and enjoying life is what it is all about.
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner