I’m not a person who knows my limits. And when I hit those limits, I get really frustrated. Especially if they are physical limits.

Frustration breeds two things in me: depression or anger. That means I either feel sorry for myself when I hit a limit or I get angry and try to keep going anyway.

Sometimes, when I keep going, it works out great. Most of the time, I just do dumb things like pull a muscle, get into something over my head, or cause myself far more work than necessary. Objects have been known to get broken.

I do work to understand my limits and have gotten better at this recently. A knee injury a few years ago placed a lot of physical limitations on me. Although I continued to push myself hard, it was extraordinary how much the constant aching slowed me down. I hated it.

But knowing my limits – and allowing myself to understand that I was actually very limited – opened the doors to finding other ways to deal with it.

Rather than continuing to struggle (with the hard breathing, exhaustion, and slowness that came with it), I learned to ask others to do tasks that were easy enough for them and save me some energy for later. Rather than constantly falling into walls, I learned to use a cane which made things better. And rather than continuing down this path of knee problems, I pursued physical therapy and weight loss surgery.

Had I continued to fight against the limits, I would have just grown more angry or wallowed more in my restrictions.

But by facing those limits, I opened up to new solutions. Now, I’m experimenting with new limits and seeing where that takes me.