As a society, we deal with limitations every day. There’s the speed limit on a highway, limit three with purchase at the grocery store, the two-drink minimum at the comedy club, and the list goes on. We have been bombarded with limitations since birth. It’s part of life and we just accept these limitations.
Many limits are put in place to keep us, “in check.” Most of the time, limits help us, protect us and keep us out of trouble. However, what about the limitations that we place on ourselves?
For me, the last three years of competing in bodybuilding shows have definitely been challenging. Many people have asked me how and why I decided to get involved in competing so late in life. I usually tell them it’s because I wanted to “test” my limits. Exactly how far could I push myself to physically look and perform better than I ever had before?
Now granted, this was NOT an overnight decision! I hemmed and hawed for quite some time. Why? Because self doubt plagued me.
At 56, was I too old to start competing? Did I really want to give up my favorite foods and drinks? Would I be able to consistently train 5-6 days a week with my traveling job as a flight attendant? My social life would definitely suffer during training season and my normal everyday routine would be turned upside down!
After much deliberation, I finally gave in and decided to “jump.” I was ready take a chance, make a change and push my limits to new heights!
We have such a tendency to become very settled as we grow older and most of the time, we unintentionally set limits on our own lives. We get comfortable in our routines. These routines become embedded into our daily lives to the point where we stop growing. That’s when the blinders are put in place, our peripheral vision starts to narrow, and we become complacent. Our limits that we have placed on ourselves have now taken over our lives.
Well, it’s never too late to reinvent yourself! I did at 51 when I took a leave of absence from work and moved to Salem, Oregon to do a wine internship at Red Hawk Vineyard. I did it again at 56, when I competed in my first bodybuilding show. Both of these situations tested my limits and dramatically changed my life! Who knew I would become a certified wine specialist proficient in all aspects of wine making or step on stage in a bikini in front of 500 strangers?
What’s up next for me? I’ll turn 60 in July and I know there’s something out there just waiting for me to tackle. No dust will accumulate under my feet. I always have an “eyes wide open” attitude and am constantly staying open to signs from God and the universe to show me my next steps towards new passions, new experiences, and new limits.
I can’t wait to encounter my next life-altering lessons and limits. How about you?
By Helen Fritsch