Pushing beyond our physical limits

Do we listen when enough is enough?

Have you experienced days where your body says – I cannot do any more!?

If we look after the body, the amount of energy and vitality available to us is amazing. In fact it is extraordinary how much we can do.

However, if we push it, and drive the body to do things it cannot, or push it to do things in a way that go against what the body can naturally deal with and is telling us, then the fact is there are consequences. We don’t like to think this, and we often override it, but we would all surely have to admit we have experienced this.

So where does that leave us? When we push the body to its extreme, basically keeping on driving forward until the body actually demands a stop, how does that actually feel? If we are honest enough, we may admit that it leaves us feeling utterly exhausted, drained and at least at times incapable of doing anything.

Yes, pushing it to the limit ends up incapacitating us.

But there is more to it than that – because we prop ourselves up well before we reach that point of an enforced stop. This means that the enforced stop is actually a pretty serious stop – if we are honest enough to admit it.

After all… Could we actually survive the day without coffee (and its variants) and/or sugar (in all its various forms)? What if the answer, a super honest answer, for most of us, was no.

And yet we push on, propping ourselves up with our chosen stimulant, until the body eventually demands a stop, because it simply cannot go on.

Well that sure makes a stopping point, as in, we have no choice at that point but to stop. But does it have to be that way?

We wouldn’t drive our car like that – pushing it without oil, without a chance to cool down, leaving it running 24/7 on and on and on, without a service. And if we did, the car would pretty quickly tell us that that wasn’t going to work – and we would face the consequences of having disregarded that. We tend to realise this, and listen to the signals our car gives us. Why? Because we have made an assessment that it is just not worth us not doing so.

Isn’t our body the same? After all, it’s the vehicle that transports us around all day, day after day.

When we push it to the limit so to speak, what we don’t realise is that there is a consequence of that – just like with our cars.

Do we need to push and drive the body to exhaustion, disregarding and overriding its signals all through the day, day after day, or is there a point in listening to its signals much earlier?

The fact is, the ‘stopping point’ in-truth is not the point of incapacitation or exhaustion – i.e. the point when we have no other choice. The stopping point, if we were to really listen to the body, is always much sooner, and the body always tells us this.

The body is a marvellous tool – and it will only ever tell us the truth about what it can do, and how it can do it, if we choose to listen.

We may find that we can regulate our stopping points, and in fact build them into the day. What if we lived in such a way that our rhythm responded to what the body said and needed during the day, so that we never actually went all the way to exhaustion but looked after ourselves so much, and regulated stopping points within as we went, so that a collapse point was never required. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Actually, if we did so, we might find that instead of continually propping our head just above the exhaustion mark, and just getting by – that we might set our benchmark much higher and leave the incapacitation points well behind. In fact, we might even find that we actually feel amazing – as our normal state, because the body, after all, knows what it needs in order to really thrive.

Wow. That would set a new level of normal

Now perhaps that’s worth giving a try.


This article was first published in Evolve College News.

Published by

Serryn O'Regan

Serryn O'Regan is Executive Manager Governance and General Counsel at Evolve College.

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