Limitations

We all have limits right?  Per Dictionary.com, the definition of limitation is as follows:

1.  a limiting condition; restrictive weakness; lack of capacity; inability or handicap.

We all have limits right 🙂 ?  For the most part I would say that is nothing but an excuse.  Now that said, I do believe that there ARE certain things that we become limited to based on life choices.  True story, when I was a child, I wanted to be a surgeon.  You can ask my parents, they bought me all kinds of books and what not so that I could read and read.  I wanted so badly to be a Doctor.  Unfortunately, I made choices in my life many years ago that in effect limited my ability to become a Doctor.  I was a straight A student…until High School.  Uh oh, then I found a lot more things to occupy my time and studying was NOT one of them.

Often times, we all feel limited in what we can or cannot do.  I find that these thoughts are so very destructive.  We have a belief system in place for whatever reason that says, we cannot do certain things.  In some areas of life, that may be true to an extent.  There is NO WAY that I can go back to school and be a Doctor today.  Life has placed limits on me.  I don’t have the money, the time or the intelligence to get into Medical school.  But when it comes to health and fitness, with the exception of certain circumstances I don’t believe in limitations.

I believe with every ounce of my being that we all the ability to make changes within ourselves.  We have the ability to push ourselves, to BELIEVE that we can do whatever we want to do!  Belief is the first step in overcoming limitations.  You have to believe, you need to have positive reinforcement!

As a distance runner, one thing that has always bothered me is my lack of speed.  I have come to the conclusion that given the right circumstances, I am trained well enough to be able to run for quite some time.  Granted it won’t be very fast, but I know I can do that.  A few years ago, this was not the case.  The thought of a 5 or 6 mile run, scared me half to death.  I placed limits on myself that said I couldn’t do this or that.  So what changed?  My belief system changed and went from I can’t to I will give it everything I have to succeed.  Thousands of miles and lots of pounds later, I now believe that in the world of health and fitness if you work hard, stay true to your belief in yourself, you WILL achieve what you set out to achieve.  There are no limitations.

A friend of mine down here in Pensacola has been faced with incredible limitations as of late.  He is in his early 50’s, was a smoker for years, ate the wrong foods, was overweight.  A few months back, he had a major heart attack.  Almost killed him!  Today, I see him at the gym almost everyday.  He quit smoking!  He quit eating crap!  He has made the choice to do for himself now what he should have been doing years ago.  It took a major event in his life for him to see that he CAN do something about it.  He made the choice not to for far to many years.  Does he have limits right now?  Yes he does but he is working his way past those limits and I truly believe that he will accomplish his goals.

We all have this ability to believe in ourselves and make the changes necessary.  It takes hard work to overcome barriers and limitations.  Everything in our lives, no matter what it is can be changed and changed for the better.  We don’t NEED to eat that 2nd slice of pie, we don’t NEED to sit on the couch and watch 5 hours of reality shows.

I asked every single one of my clients a few weeks ago to come up with some goals for this upcoming year.  Setting the goal is just the first step.  Now that you have a goal, what are the steps needed to achieve that goal.  I will use myself as an example.

Goal – Run a sub 5 minute mile.

Now, there is NO WAY that I am going to achieve this goal by merely saying I am going to do it or thinking about doing it.  I need some action plan to help me get there.  So, I made one.  Now it is a matter of executing the action plan to achieve the goal.  In my opinion and action plan should have no more than 3 steps.

Action Plan

Step 1 – Dedicate 1 day per week to speed work

Step 2 – Dedicate 1 day per week to hill work with speed intervals

Step 3 – Run a test mile once per week to gauge progress

Simple really but I have to change my mindset.  Currently, I think running a couple miles at a 6:00 minute mile pace is so much harder than running 26 miles at an 8:00 minute mile pace.

To wrap this all up, the end all be all is that you need to believe in yourself.  You need to know that you can accomplish whatever you want.  You need to make the conscious decision to make that change though, it is just not going to magically happen for you.  Our minds are the strongest parts of our bodies.  Don’t let your mind tell you that you CAN’T do something.  Because once you believe that, you won’t achieve what you set out to achieve.

 

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7 thoughts on “Limitations”

  1. Good article Jim. Two years ago I hit 220 pounds and had a little mid life crises scare. I decided to join a gym to lose weight. I used to be a good runner so I did treadmill runs for my cardio. I thought being in my late 30’s I had better be careful. I seem to be able to get injured easier. What I found was as the weight came off so did my limitations. The injury I expected never happened because I listen to my body and take a break when I need to. Also I think alot of the injury happenings was because I was overweight. I have a fear of doing a marathon. That is my limitation. I had knee surgery in my mid 20’s because my knees were misaligned. The cartilage damage in them was pretty bad. I just figured my running days were over. I over time have kept up losing the weight and increasing my running distances. 5k’s were my limit, now it’s 10k’s. I am hoping that the limitation of distance I have set on myself can someday be overcome and I will get that first marathon in.

    1. Hi Garret. Thanks for reading and thanks for telling your story. You are living proof that no matter the challenges we all can make a change for the better. Good luck on all your goals you want to achieve. When your ready for the Marathon, you know where to find me 🙂

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