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Max: Finding Your Point of Exhaustion

If you've ever lifted weights, you know that every few weeks you find what's called your "max." To find your max, you warm up and then put as much weight as you think you can lift on the rack and try get it up for just. one. rep. If you get it, you put more on and try again… until you fail.


Pushing to failure is exactly the point.

It's both terrifying and thrilling to find the end of yourself. The fear is that you might be crushed. The thrill is that you are often able to do so much more than you realized.


The first time I really practiced this was in high school. I had performed very well at my state swim meet and thought, "What would happen if I really tried next year?" The next year I trained with my whole heart. I ate well. I slept hard. I sacrificed time with friends. I figured, "I'll either win or learn I'm not as good as I thought."


What happened? I failed. Not entirely, but it wasn't what I'd hoped. But I also won. For the first time I tried my very best and absolutely did not regret it. Since then I push to my limits often. I am less and less afraid of failure. Failure only tells me where I'm at, shows me what I need to learn, and reminds me that I'm not God—all valuable information for me to stay on track.


I have no problem with being a limited human. It's a beautiful part of my design. It's a lovely opportunity for me to recognize God's lack of limits—an aspect worthy of worship.


So what current option do you have for maxing out? If you've hit your failure point, can you have the grace for yourself to just face it and move on? You learned what you need to learn. Now do something about it.


Unsplash: Mika Baumeister

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