What You Need To Know About Summiting Everest, Running & Inventing Light Bulbs…

push yourself, Accomplish your goalsThe limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible. – Arthur C. Clarke.

I’m doubled over, red faced, gasping and wheezing for every breath. “Oh man… I think I’m going to puke…“

“If you gotta puke dude, do it outside. “

So started my journey at the BodyLab, Matt D’Amico’s twisted and successful creation to alter the way you exercise and live.

After a mere 30 minutes, I was spent, in pain and on the brink of collapse, but I was also over joyed and amazed I went as far as I did.

For the first time in a long time I felt the exhaustive exhilaration of pushing myself to my limits.

I was spent, taxed, toast, but at the same time I felt totally alive…

We’ve all pushed and we’ve all felt what I am talking about, but how often do we do it?

How often do you stretch your limits and test yourself? 

How often do you peer into the void of your unknown ability?

I bet it’s not as often as you’d like or should…

Some of the greatest accomplishments throughout history are marked by our capacity to push through incredible amounts of physical and mental pain to reach new heights and new goals.

  • Thomas Edison – Do you think it was stressful and painful for him to fail thousands times on his way to inventing the light bulb?
  • Roger Bannister – Do you think he was pushing himself to the breaking point when he finally broke the 4-minute mile?
  • Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay  – Do you think they felt the pain, the joy, the exhaustion and exhilaration upon summiting Everest?

You and I share the same common abilities as these great pioneers.

The ability to push ourselves beyond what we think we can do.

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. – Leonardo da Vinci

push yourself, accomplish your goalsIn order to achieve the greatness you’re capable of…you must do the following:

  1. Create a goal – This will help you when you need the extra mental energy to push. This goal must be attached to your core being, be something you are passionate about or be something where you have a burning desire to be the best.
  2. Push in short bursts – This will help you build your tolerance. Push for short amounts of time and work your way up. Once you get the feel for pushing yourself again, you can begin to extend the sessions.
  3. Challenge yourself to take one more step – Every time you feel you are at your limit, go one step more. When you feel like you hit the wall, push against it as hard as you can until you go a bit further.
  4. Learn to play with pain – You must play the metal tennis match between quitting and going forward. This maybe the toughest challenge of them all as we are hard wired to avoid pain at all costs, but it is only through this pain can you experience the higher levels of joy on the other side.

These are the 4 keys Edison, Bannister, Hillary and Norgay knew they had to follow if they were to push and break through they’re perceived barriers…

But why do it? Why push?

Here’s why…

After going through 3 grueling workouts per week for about a month, I began to notice that pushing myself to my limit at the gym started to bleed over to other areas of my life.

I started pushing myself harder in my work, in my writing and in my personal life.

I began seeing greater gains and rewards. I was accomplishing more in a day than I had in a long time.

I was pushing my coaching skills harder to better serve my clients. I was pushing myself to understand my relationships and be a better person.

Most importantly, I was fully investing all of my talents and passions to accomplish things I hadn’t done before.

push yourself, accomplish your goalsWhen was the last time you pushed beyond your own self imposed limits?

At one point in time you pushed beyond your limits to accomplish something great, but when is the last time you physically or mentally pushed yourself so hard you felt those incredible feelings of pain, exhaustion, joy and success?

Now I am not saying you need to go out and run a four minute mile, spend half your life inventing the light bulb or summiting Everest, but…

You are greater… A LOT greater than you think you are…

So today, right now, write down one thing you are going to do until it hurts…

Anyplace is a good place to start as long as you get started.

Seriously, write down one thing or better yet just go do it!


Images Courtesy:mckaysavage, addedentry,tsakshaug


  1. Brandi says

    Just want to be a successful person mentally, and be able to find true happiness within myself,which I feel will help me get to a higher place and not stay in my own bondages and limits I set for myself.

  2. Tom says

    Derek I completely am on board and in line with your thoughts. These types of thoughts have been in my mind for the past several months. I’ve made some very significant changes for the better and am a person of totally different habits than I was for the past number of years. I feel alive for the first time in years. Everything has wonder, curiosity abounds for me both inside and out. Thing is as I’ve been pushing and achieving physically I’ve noticed something. Everyone says “wow I cannot believe you’ve accomplished all you have… and so fast.” Yet to me I’m still very much cheating the best I’m capable of and it’s bothering me a great deal. I know how hard I’m working out. We all do. I know that, as hard as I am going, I’m still holding back from pushing into that much pain. I know it’s temporary and the gains are on the other side, I just seem to talk myself out of it “at the moment,” justifying a less than total effort.

    I know how easy it was to commit to my goal 6 months ago resulting in a weight loss of 92 pounds. I never once needed any willpower to continue. I was on the track, it was easy to accomplish because it never required any pain of any kind. Now i want to do a half ironman and building the aerobic capacity hurts. I love the idea of short bursts lasting a little longer time after time. I think the idea of going hard when I know I’ve got a long way to go scares me. It’s much easier to go at a high moderate pace then hit it harder during the last ten minutes, knowing it’s going to be over soon. -Tom

    • says

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks so much for sharing your journey and insights. And congratulations on on losing 92 pounds! That is awesome. Pushing through the pain is never easy, but on the other side is the sweet reward. Good luck on your half ironman. I know you can do it!


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