“A Man Has To Know His Limitations”

Remember Dirty Harry

clint eastwood, dirty harry, fitolddog's advice, save exercise for better health, exercise and health,

Not my favorite character, but it’s true,

“A man has to know his limitations.”

If you exceed your limitations as an athlete, injury is on the way. Especially if you are preparing for aging, because each injury leaves weak mark on your body – it’s never quite the same!

In order to maximize your performance, you have to approach your physical and mental limits, but not exceed them.

But if your perceived limits are way below your actual limits your performance will never be the best you can make it! How does one know the difference between your actual and your perceived limits? The older you get, it would appear, the longer it takes to recover from injuries, and the more pressure you will be under from your friends and colleagues to not injure yourself, go easy, don’t forget your age, and so-forth. In my opinion this is a very personal journey, and I recommend that you get as much help as you can in the form coaching, laboratory tests, heart rate and wattage monitoring, and technique analysis. At the end of the day, however, success will depend upon your level of body awareness, which is why my training includes a weekly sports massage to find tight spots, and Feldenkrais training to find ways to fix the tight spots. Even then, this is one of the most interesting and challenging aspects of endurance training.

It is really up to you to learn to read your body, know when you are mentally too tired to train safely, and to determine when that niggling ache is an injury in the making. Dirty Harry was right on this one, but he didn’t provide a whole lot of guidance! It would appear that careful trial and error, and constantly pushing your training to the edge is the only way to do this. My coach, Chris Hauth, certainly helped me along that road. Now I have to find my limitations with an AAA-stent, and I have yet to find much to help in that regard, thus this blog, which makes my life even more interesting.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. I spent couple of minutes at your site and i’m very impressed, very good articles

  2. Kevin Morgan says

    Thanks ‘Muscle Supplements,’
    For being the first real posted comment to my site. I was needing the encouragement today, and I’ll forward your site to my son, a keen lifter.

  3. Great blog & so true. Everyone else can & will give advice but only YOU can determine your limitations and it starts with pushing the barriers of comfort

    • Hi Mikey Bee, thanks for your comment. This is why I stress the study of body awareness before all else. You have to push your mind and body a bit, but not to the point of injury, and learning to sense the difference is what body awareness skills are all about. I learn new tricks on this front every day. Much appreciated, and have fun, life is only too brief, or not, if you live and enjoy the present moment. Kind Regards, Kevin aka FitOldDog (not feeling so fit two days out from the gun in Los Cabos, but it is always like that – mind games).

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.