February 22, 2012

A Man Must Constantly Exceed His Level

Bruce had running 3 miles a day, at quite a good pace. We’d run it in 21 or 22 minutes which is under 8 minutes a mile.

Then one morning he said to me “We’re going to do five.”

I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five,  I’m a helluva lot older than you are and I can’t do five.”

He said, “When we get to 3, we’ll shift gears and it’s only 2 more and you’ll do it.”

I agreed but after the 4th mile I really begin to give out, my hearts pounding and I tell Bruce, “If I run any more, I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.”

He said, “Then die.”

I was so mad, I went the full five miles.

Afterward I was still angry and asked him why he’d said that.

He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physically or any other way, it’ll spread into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are NO limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly try to exceed his level.”

From: “The Art of Expressing the Human Body” by Bruce Lee

February 22, 2012

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