People rarely push up against their limitations, most don’t even know what they are because the only way to find a limitation is to challenge yourself to the point of failure.

To find where our limitations lie, we have to set ourselves a challenge that is completely impossible and clearly far beyond our abilities. You have to then attempt that challenge with integrity and honesty, putting aside the notion that it is, in fact, impossible. At some stage along the way you will fail, for whatever reason. That is the discovery of a limitation.

Limitations are usually negative things, but they’re also possibilities. 

This is what you could do, this is what you can do and those limitations aren’t where you think they are. In November 2011, having never run more than 12 miles, I tried to run 5 marathons in 5 days tracing out COULD in 26 mile long letters across London. I managed 3.

Running is a kind of therapy for me. A long term struggle with depression is what got me running in the first place and the recent culmination of intensive therapy was my personal driving force behind the undertaking. I believe in the logic and merit of the project on it’s own but this personal, deeper connection with the task at hand is what I feel guaranteed my commitment to finding an absolute limit.

Running on the final day put me back into my depression. I had no control over my emotions and my thought processes. In depression you aren’t yourself, you aren’t anybody. Just a body doing things. You have some loose connection with the world around you and the people you interact with but you’re a tiny marble rattling about in a shell. You’re a zombie, soulless and ultimately nothing.

Not only finding myself back in that place but actively putting myself there and pushing myself deeper and deeper into it is what stopped me. I went as far as I could. Too far in fact, as it took some time for me to come back to ‘normal’. This was the limitation I discovered, a mental and emotional one, an inherently personal one, rather than any kind of physical one in a most physical and visceral challenge.

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