Always More: How to Find Your Physical Limits
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done, physically speaking?
Can you recall a moment in your past in which you experienced pain and exhaustion like none other? Maybe during a high school sporting event? Rep’d a crazy amount of weight in the gym? Ran a marathon? A triathlon? Maybe an Ironman? Or a Tough Mudder?
Reaching these heights can be extremely rewarding, boost confidence, and instill an incredible amount of perseverance.
But how do you get there? Here are a few steps to get you going:
Find the event.
Spend some time researching events or milestones that will challenge you. The kind that seem impossible. Choose one, and then research the training and equipment necessary to complete it.
That said, pick something you love. In the midst of extreme pain, if you’re enjoying what you’re doing, it’ll be that much easier to finish. I personally love cycling, so the Everest Challenge was right up my alley.
To be clear, “the hardest thing you’ve ever done” is completely relative. The key is to always push your limits. Is a 5k the hardest thing you’ve done? Conquer a 10k.
Pro tip: If you’re signing up for a specific event, be sure to register and pay the entry fee as soon as possible. Then, when you have the inevitable “I don’t want to do this anymore” thoughts, at the least you’ll be motivated by the desire to not waste money.
Train. Train. Train.
This event will require hard, consistent work. If it won't, you didn't pick an event that'll push your limits. Find or create a training plan and then follow it religiously. When you’re struggling in the event, think back to the time and energy you’ve spent preparing and let that motivate you.
A note on mental toughness: Prior to the event, be sure to test yourself mentally. If you’re naturally inclined to give up easily, you need to get rid of that attitude. Practice ignoring that voice of reason telling you to stop. If it’s truly the hardest thing you’ve ever done, giving up will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done.
Don’t go into the challenge unprepared. Make sure you have the appropriate equipment, knowledge, skills and day-of nutrition.
Prior to completing the Everest Challenge, I was completely ignorant to the amount of food necessary to keep yourself fueled during such a ride. Luckily, I had friends who were willing to share.
Find someone to do it with you.
Setting yourself apart from everyone can be motivating within itself. However, finding a training partner, someone to endure the pain with you, can be a huge help, especially on the day of the event.
Go forth and conquer.
Defy the odds. Ignore the haters. Let them motivate you, and know you can do this. You might be surprised by how much you can achieve when giving up simply isn’t an option. Don’t stop until you’ve succeeded. You might fall down, maybe even literally. Get up. Keep going, and just do it.
So what challenge do you want to complete? Is it a new one? Or one that you've been fighting toward for a while? Comment below and let us know, or message us on social media @AuburnCampusRec. We love hearing from y'all. And as always,
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Cat S.