We are limitless
I recall something that my father told me about when he used to wrestle in high school. He said that at the end of every practice or competition he would literally have nothing left, to where sometimes he wouldn't even be able to drive himself home. He said he always wanted to make sure he gave every ounce of himself in there.
When I first started training I would get so exhausted, just wrecked, and thought that one day, once I improved some, I would get to a point where that wouldn't happen anymore, or not as badly. As time went on and I got better and better, I noticed that I was still getting just as tired as I had in the beginning. “What the hell?” I thought. I mean obviously my skill was improving and I was clearly in way better shape, why was I still getting so exhausted? Then one day my father tells me that story and it just hit me, if you are giving 100% then that's all you have. It doesn't matter how good of shape you are in, it doesn't matter how much better your skill is. What I hadn't taken into consideration was the fact that yes, I was getting just as tired but I was also hitting ten times harder, throwing much crisper combinations and just doing more overall. If you are not completely spent after your training/fight/competition/etc. then that means you could have done more. It means you held back and did not push yourself.
Getting tired is a horrible feeling, particularly when you know you have pushed yourself much more in training but then come competition time you feel weak. However, that is all just a mental block and is whole other topic all together. I always try to push myself to the point of passing out, and then do more. You will never truly find out how far you can go until you risk going too far, so there's only one way to find out. Give it your all and you will probably be surprised how much you can actually do. Even if you pass out, puke, whatever, at least you know where that point is.
I remember the first time I went to Thailand and trained in 2007, it was beyond hot and so humid, felt like living in a sauna. During training, it felt as if I had a hot, sweaty, gym sock stuck over my face. I could breathe but it was as if there was no actual oxygen getting to my lungs, almost as if trying to breath with your face buried in dirt. Being the only foreigner at this camp, and already having a sense that they assumed I was just another typical, lazy American, there was no way in hell I would ever hold back or give up. Every day during pads I would be gasping for air so badly that I thought I might pass out at any moment, but I just kept telling myself, “Keep going, don't quit, if you pass out you pass out.” I learned so much on that trip. Seeing how far I could actual push myself, even when my body was screaming that I had nothing left, was the biggest lesson. It has been something that has always stuck with me.
No matter how much it hurts, or how impossible it seems, keep going, because when you look back and realize that you could have given more it will be more agonizing then any pain you may have been feeling in those brief moments.
Tell yourself, when you're body says no more, “Just one more rep, one more mile, one more round, one more punch”, and you will realize that you're body and brain are liars. Most people will never find out how far they can go because when things start to get tough they take that as a signal to stop, I take that as a challenge. When my body and mind say “Come on Kevin, there’s no way we can do anymore, it’s impossible!” my heart says “F you, I'm the one in charge and I'll tell you when enough is enough!” Even when you think you have given it all you have, even when there is nothing left, reach down and give it that last little bit, that last push that you think might kill you, I guarantee you will go further than you ever thought imaginable.
“Face your fears, live your dreams”