Thursday, June 11, 2015

Finding My Edge

I had an epiphany at the gym this morning.

Ok, maybe the use of the word epiphany is a bit dramatic.  More like a realization. And actually it is an ongoing realization, a thought I have been having for some time now that keeps creeping back into my head. Today, I proved it right.

When it comes to most fitness related activities we really need to find our edge and walk that fine line between pushing ourselves just past it (leading to growth) and pushing ourselves too far past it (leading to injury).  Yes, you know that idiom the magic happens outside of your comfort zone? It’s popular for a reason.

Well anyway, I often think about how I am not really that person that does anything on (or just past) my edge. I play it safe. I push but I don’t push too hard. Not saying I am not trying to improve or grow in whatever fitness endeavor I am on but I do recognize the times when I let fear (fear of injury, embarrassment, disappointment) hold me back. 

It’s easy in the comfort zone. It’s safe. I mean the name itself says it- COMFORT zone. It sounds so cozy. I just want to snuggle up with a good book and chill in my comfort zone.

However, as awesome as my comfort zone is, I have finally decided that I really need to be better at finding and moving past my edge. I do want to grow. I do want to rise to the challenge, even if that means failure. Because from that failure comes growth and really, that is all I am after. 

I was at the gym this morning with Anna, we were doing our normal mix of cardio and strength training. We had warmed up on the treadmill, where I maxed out at a sad (because I wasn’t even pushing myself) 6.0 mph – very easy walking/jogging/light running warm up, then we did 5 minutes on the rowing machine (I barely passed the 1000m mark when my time was up) and then 5 minutes of jump rope. We did some ab work – which in my defense it may seem like I am not trying my best but I am, my core is still pretty weak so I did push it out the best I could. Then we moved on to weights and this is where my epiphany happened.

I sat down on the leg press machine which was set to 240 lbs. Ha! I laughed to myself, 240 lbs is crazy and I immediately moved it down to 120 lbs and began my first set. 120 lbs seemed a bit easy and so I bumped it up to 140 lbs for the next set and the 160 lbs for the last. Then something inside clicked and I realized 160 lbs was not my edge. So I decided to test out 200 lbs, just until failure. I would be happy with 1 rep if that was all I could do. But it wasn’t. I completed 10 reps at 200 lbs and thought that 200 probably wasn’t even my edge. Sadly, it was time to move on to other exercises so I didn’t find my edge. BUT I did find the push I need to get there. To not be so damn afraid.

Next week, I am finding my edge on that leg press machine….and I promise to keep trying to find my edge in everything I do. How else will I ever know what I can do if I spend my time worried about what I can’t?

Love and hugs,