In CrossFit we talk about Threshold Training. We have a threshold speed where we can move without error. Any faster and errors will start to appear. The art of threshold training is that we need to ride that line. Here’s the rub: the only way we can find that line is by crossing it. You will never know how far you can go until you go too far.
There a few lessons here. One, push yourself harder, or as I like to say Work Fucking Harder! You need to find that threshold because when you find that threshold, that is where the jet stream of adaptation occurs. I read a fascinating book called “The Rise of Superman” that was all about how extreme sports are pushing the boundaries of human performance to unprecedented levels. Most of the science in the book references the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his book “Flow.” Flow states are what athletes and artists all describe as their most creative experiences when they perform at their best. It turns out they are a phenomenon that we can study and measure. These flow states occur when people push past their threshold. So no matter what your endeavor, if you want to get the best results, push past that threshold.
The second lesson that you need to learn, is that going past your threshold can have negative consequences. In extreme sports, that consequence is death. Going faster and hitting bigger tricks comes with more risk. The risks aren’t as dire when you are playing music or acting, but epic artistic failure in front of an audience can make one wish they were dead.
Keep pushing every day. You won’t know whether you crossed the line until you look behind you. So keep watching your back for that line. That line is a moving target so it won’t be in the same place every time. That’s why you have to keep your head on a swivel. Be careful you don’t go too far because you will pay the price. Work hard and stay safe.