Last night I went down a more personal path regarding pushing one’s limits and physical challenges…my own. Each day is an adventure, for sure, and some of them are more instructive than others. The last few months of this blog have been quiet. I hope to change that up as we head into the summer.
This morning I began to think outside the box about last night’s post title. It was quite broad and left itself open for me to see where another path would take me when given some coffee and early morning calmness. What are limits? Are they self-imposed? Are they imposed by others? Are they imposed by society? Is one able to overcome them or is the ceiling too solid to break through?
I do know the answer to all the questions above–the answer is yes. All of those questions are, by definition, a type of limit. So what is one to do when every which way you turn someone is saying telling you no?
“You have the tenacity of a pitbull.” – Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser said of Heidi I. Sarver
While I chuckle thinking back on that moment I do so because I know it to be true. My entire life has been one giant pushback against anyone and anything that had the audacity to tell me I couldn’t do something. I can count on one hand the number of times I faced an obstacle I truly could not overcome. I realize that this is not the case with everyone else however.
Limits, whether self-imposed or imposed by other factors are real. Some are in place for our safety. Others exists as milestones for us to overcome along our journey. Whether it is being able to sit on a bike saddle for 1 mile or 20 miles after multiple joint surgeries, or finally being able to play that whole tone scale in the Kaminski Trumpet Concerto, or finishing a home improvement project, limits that transform into milestones are some of the most satisfying moments in your life.
“What do I need to do to get better?” – Walter M. Chesnut, following spinal neck surgery in 1992
That simple question, asked by a man lying in a hospital bed 24 hours after his C4 and C5 vertebrate disintegrated into his spine leaving him paralyzed, is one that I have kept close to heart on many the occasion. I heard it in my head after each and every surgery. I heard it in my head after each and ever setback during the last two+ decades. The word “better” does not just refer to one’s health. I think of it in every connotation. Approaching a new limit, a new obstacle, and striving to push through it to the other side implies “getting better.”
“Make it a great day.” – Deena Seavey Frank, after each and every phone conversation
Today, and every day that follows, do whatever it takes to make it a great day. Will there be limits, obstacles, potential heartache, drama, setbacks? Heck yeah! It’s called life and life is chock full of all that stuff. It is how you choose to approach it and attack it. Ultimately I hope you choose to overcome whatever stumbling blocks you find in your way. As bad as things are for you (and yes, there are some truly horrific things out there, I do not deny that for a moment!), I am willing to bet that if you look just beyond them you will find something that calms you, makes you smile, gives you peace–if only for a moment. Latch on to that and realize that with the bad there is also good. Push through the ceiling set by a limitation and understand there is very little you cannot do.