Copyright © 2019 Aaron Mychael Photography

100 Percent

May 22, 2015

Have you ever had to exert all your energy into one action?

It has become commonplace in our culture to say that we’re giving 100 percent of our energy toward a specific goal – but, really, how often do we honestly give everything?

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend, and it all came from , of all things, a Crossfit competition.

Of course it would be something workout/sports/competition related, right?

I’ll start with this fact – I’m an extremely competitive person. Also, I’m extremely athletic – I have been since my early childhood.

Dating back to little league baseball: I remember playing in an age group above my own. At 11-years-old, I was named to the All-Star team of 13 year olds. That was the year I hit my first homerun – during an All-Star game.

Fast-forward to my current state, and I joined a group of people involved in fitness – Levee Crossfit.

I joined the box (or “gym” for all the non-Crossfitters out there) simply with the intentions of staying healthy and fit – I was not interested in doing any type of competition. I just wanted to get my 6-pack abs back from my college days.

Without being prideful, I was confident I was one of the better athletes of the group.

So I worked out, and continued working out somewhat consistently for about a year and a half. Sure, there were times where I’d miss a month because of knee injuries and such, so I’d take a break here and there.

Then it happened.

I got talked into entering into a competition.

I knew it would be challenging. And I think that’s what drew my to entering. I like a challenge, and I thought that with a little work, I’d be able to do very well in the competition.

That ideology turned out being false – because I did a little work, but others did a lot of work, which proved to help them compete much better than I did in the comp.

My focus, at the time, was on my job and trying to get finished so I could leave the newspaper in good condition for the incoming editor.

While others were focused on the exercises of the 2015 Festivus Games, I was spending evening writing, photographing, and doing everything I needed to get a newspaper out each week; and I’d work out whenever possible.

“Whenever possible” turned out to be 2-4 times a week, depending on the week – all while others were diligently working daily to master the movements and pace of the competition.

It wasn’t until the week of the Festivus Games – the week after I had officially resigned from my editor position – that I was actually able to focus on preparing for the competition.

But by that time, it was too late.

The Festivus Games came, and despite everything, I thought I was prepared (maybe not well-prepared, but at least prepared enough) and thought I was athletic enough to push through the challenges and do well.

I was wrong.

I hadn’t given 100 percent in my preparation.

Even in my work outs where I was attempting to prepare for the competition, I basically just went through the motions of the workout of the day. I didn’t push myself. I didn’t “go hard.” But I thought it would be enough, because at least I was doing something.

It wasn’t until after the Festivus Games competition that I thought about it and realized that even though I thought I had done enough, and I had prepared well mentally, I had not truly given 100 percent in my preparation – so when I did give 100 percent during the competition, it wasn’t quite enough.

See, I realized that if I were to have exerted every bit of energy in practicing and preparing for the competition, my boundaries would have expanded. If my limits had been expanded in practice, I would have been able to do more in the game.

So it is with life.

If we don’t focus our energy in the things we love, or the things we value, we only limit ourselves.

Now, despite what I have written, I didn’t do terribly in the competition – but I knew I could’ve done better. I knew that if I’d given more during the “dress rehearsals” that I wouldn’t have nearly passed out during the real thing.

With work, I like to think I gave 100 percent all the way until my last day, but I’d only be lying to myself. There were plenty of times (probably even years) that I did just enough to get by.

But in my pursuit(s), I believe that I now understand the importance of really giving 100 percent, or at least close to it.

Don’t give of yourself so much that you no longer have anything to give – I think that’s just wisdom. Give all you can, allow the wounds to heal, then go to battle.

In my life, I have decided to do everything within my power to be a success.

My preparation has begun.

I must exert an extraordinary amount of effort into the things I choose to do, whether it be my photography, writing, acting, singing, or anything else – the thing(s) I choose to do, I will have to fully commit and give of myself in order to see success.

And I think it’s the same for anyone else who wants to see true success in certain areas of their lives.

To be the best athlete, you’ve got to practice harder than anyone else.

To love your spouse unlimitedly, it will take you exerting all of yourself into that relationship.

To be the best you, exert all of your energy into doing the things that will make you better.

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