Is that all you’ve got?

I go to a weight lifting class called Group Power. It is just like Body Pump, and both appear in different gyms throughout the country.

I love it!

It’s an hour long class, and each workout has the same sequence through 10 choreographed songs. It starts with a warm up, then a squat track, then chest, then back & legs…etc. The makeup of the workouts change. The company puts out a new release every 3 months, and then instructors bring back older releases so that we are switching up fairly often.

But it is really easy to go to class and go through the movements without really pushing myself to work hard. and frankly sometimes I do not have it in me to push to the brink of exhaustion and failure. But, many times, I have more energy available for use than I actually put into it. What would happen if I put on enough weight every track that I couldn’t get through the whole thing? It wouldn’t feel good, but would I build greater strength and fitness? It is working at the edges that I’m sure will make the most difference in my strength, but it also feels wonderfully powerful.

For example, on a date recently when I was pushing myself very hard, I discovered that I had been doing of movement not nearly to my potential. This exercise involves relatively small weights held down by your side and then you push them back behind your back to build back and shoulder strength. I realized on this day that I had not been going nearly as far as my range of motion would allow me. I thought I was, but I had to push harder to discover the additional range of motion. It felt great to discover that I was capable of more!

In any given day we perform hundreds of tasks. Each presents a choice. Just as with a strength workout, you can go through the motions or you can put in extra effort even to the brink of what you are capable of.

It would be ridiculous to do everything around the edges. Some things are only worth doing at the minimum level. But perhaps more are worth pushing to the edges and exploring what we’re capable of even, or perhaps most importantly, when we are facing a risk of failure?

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