The bar to what you feel you have done at least what is necessary,
the bar to what you feel is your “excellent.”
My freshman year in high school, my schedule included geometry.
I had always been ok in math, but at the beginning of eighth grade, we took an aptitude test. I guess I had an aptitude for math because the counselors placed me in algebra 1 instead of eighth grade math.
Three weeks into the school year I found myself struggling with math with a math teacher who was not happy I had been added after the semester began. I was quite content that I pulled off a “C” for each semester. It was that “C” that caused me to request taking the two year geometry course.
Nope. I not only received a schedule that placed me in geometry first hour, but I was placed in a class taught by a teacher who loathed freshmen. The building was on a split schedule – freshmen were not supposed to have a schedule that began before third or fourth hour. The other geometry classes available were scheduled for my orchestra or choir hours – first hour was the only option.
I struggled. I asked for help. The teacher told me that since I was smart enough to be in an upper classmen course, I should be able to read the text and figure out how to do the problems. I struggled. I worked to complete each and every assignment. At parent teacher conferences each semester, the teacher told my mother that I would have to pull at least a “B” if not an “A” on the semester and year finals in order to pass.
I passed the first semester, and I passed the year. (Note: The teacher was not the least bit happy.)
the teacher had set the bar high. She challenged my limits.
This summer I challenged my fear of heights. I can climb up, but the descent or standing and peering over the edge can paralyze me.
The desire to experience zip lining won out over my fears.
My husband and I have been talking about trying zip lining for several years, and this year, while camping in the Smokies, the opportunity presented itself.
An advertisement came across my computer screen with a video. I showed the video to my husband and asked him if he could handle the experience even though he had hurt his wrist just two weeks ago.
“Sure. Let’s go!”
So I made the reservations. No thinking.
Legacy Mountain Ziplines boasts 7 lines that run a total of 2 miles and at times find you 500 feet above the forest floor as you race at speeds up to 50 mph. (Note: My hubby thinks he was traveling at almost 65 mph.)
As we drove up several mountain hills to get to the venue, my stomach began to do flip-flops. Was I really going to hang from a cable from a harness 500 feet above the forest floor? OMG!
“You could back out. It’s not too late,” my husband said to me as we reached the check-in window.
As we waited for the group ahead of us to leave on the bus for the first line, my husband tried again. “You still have time to back out.”
“Why? Do you want to back out?”
I had to do this. I had to. I don’t know why.
What I didn’t realize was that we had picked the MOST EXTREME zipline for our initial experience.
One lady in the group ahead us backed out before she even got connected to the first line. She had limited herself and let her fear win.
I’ll admit it. The first line somewhat scared me. I had listened to the instructions of the guide, but working a steering hand and a break hand was challenging. I was scared that I wouldn’t figure out how to stop before I hit the pole that the line was attached to. I didn’t.
One lady in our group was going to quit after that first line, but the guide got her to continue because he was going to have her tandem with him.
The climbs up to the “launch” pads were easy. Standing on one of the platforms was exhilarating as I looked out over the forest to “see” miles across the horizon. Each time I took off, however, I felt a catch in my stomach. After the fifth line, I realized that I needed to change steering and breaking hands; although I am right handed, my left hand was better for breaking and my right hand better suited for steering. The guide attached a break pad to my left hand.
By the time I finished the seventh line, I felt like I had challenged my limits.
I have other limits I need to challenge, but one step at a time.
In order to challenge your limits, you need to identify your limits. In other words, you need to ask yourself what it is that is stopping you from having the life you want to live.
Want to further your education? Why are you talking yourself out of it?
Want a better job or a change in career? Why are you talking yourself out of seeking that new job?
These are the two things you need to figure out: what do you want and what is stopping you?
Thanks for reading.