Completing the Phoenix 50 in July 2016 was one of the greatest accomplishments. The training in leading up to the event pushed me to new limits one a weekly basis. The actual event...may have pushed me a little too far. After all, I did end up in the hospital with rhabdo and acute renal failure.
Do I regret it? Not in the slightest. Would I do it again? Maybe. Why?! Well, for starters, I know more about myself having gone through that experience. Most importantly, I know where my limit is, or was, and can move on to set other goals.
From a training perspective, pushing yourself is the great risk vs. reward battle. To have or experience a great reward involves taking certain risks...but taking those risks does not necessarily mean you'll reap those reward. No risk, no reward. Yes risk, maybe reward. That's the battle we fight...is the potential reward work the risk? Is working on the makiwara, with the risk of breaking my hand worth the risk in order to strengthen my hand. Is doing a million burpees worth the risk of injury for a reward of improving muscular and cardiovascular endurance? Those are relatively easy battles nowadays.
The more difficult battles, where I almost always need to push a step too far, are relationally. Those battles often require that I continue a conversation one question more, or adding one more comment. The risk? You come off as a pushy jerk. The potential reward? You come off as someone who genuinely cares...and THAT is so needed by so many. Another risk is that by pushing one question more, you may offend someone. To that I'd say that's it's better to offend a friend or coworker and make them think about their actions and behavior than it is to say nothing, and let them continue without observation. Shoot, sometimes just asking that first question might feel like a step too far.
In either situation, relationships or training, I don't recommend pushing yourself too far every single time. There's a wisdom and discernment that goes with knowing when to push and when to relax. My observation though is that we generally don't want to push a little too far because we're either afraid of the risk or don't want to step out of our comfort zone.
You'll never know how far you can go until you go a little too far. You'll never know what you can make of the world, or your relationships, or yourself, unless you push past what you think are your limits.
From a training perspective, try this. Do pushups. How many? Do ALL of them. Do pushups until your arms and chest muscles fail. Then, take a break and do two more. Pushing yourself physically has a direct impact on your courage to push relationally. Find something...do something that pushes you past your preconceived limits this weekend. Be safe:-)