Tell us about a time when you exceeded what you thought you could do…

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    Jun 20, 2008 12:19 PM GMT
    I always loved the standard interview questions, “tell me about a time when you”… You find out what people are like when they describe what they’ve done and how they went about doing it. So I thought I would pose a question here. Here’s my response.


    I was using the Angled Leg Press machine, lifting 270 lbs and thinking I was working pretty hard. There was a guy at the same machine next to me wearing a long sleeve sweatshirt and sweat pants, but looked rather thin. He was trying to lift 630 lbs. After he did his set, we looked at each other and chatted briefly.
    It made me think, if this thin guy could push that much weight, why can’t I? So I began increasing the weight each time, getting to the same 630 lbs mark within a few weeks. (I eventually made it up to 1000 lbs).

    While I was feeling pretty proud of myself, I ran into him again, but this time he had a sleeveless shirt and gym shorts. Well, this guy was thin but incredibly muscular. He clearly was a regular body builder and I realized that I had pushed myself under false pretenses.

    But the end result was worth it – I started adding weight to my exercise routines and my body was responding. It really led me to enjoy lifting because I was so proud of myself for lifting more than I thought I could ever do. And I’ve translated that learning into my professional life where I challenge myself more at work and I’m getting the recognition for even greater accomplishments.
    Moral of the story – you’ll never know how much you can do unless you try.

    So tell me about your story…
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    Jun 20, 2008 4:34 PM GMT
    Nothing earth-shaking by any means but when I was 14, I trained for a long time to prepare myself for a 40 mile bike hike - and I did it! At the time it was the biggest accomplishment for me - it meant a lot to be able to finish this race with so many older athletes.

    This taught me to strive for goals that are hard to reach and to work very hard at everything I do.
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    Jun 20, 2008 4:40 PM GMT
    When I was 16, about halfway through shotgunning a quart of gin, I thought "I can't do this, I'm gonna be sick!". Well, I summoned all my strength and opened my throat and just let that baby slide down. I did get sick, immediately, but, I did it when nobody else would take up the challenge. To this day, I can't even smell gin without wanting to vomit.
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    Jun 20, 2008 4:41 PM GMT
    McGay saidWhen I was 16, about halfway through shotgunning a quart of gin, I thought "I can't do this, I'm gonna be sick!". Well, I summoned all my strength and opened my throat and just let that baby slide down. I did get sick, immediately, but, I did it when nobody else would take up the challenge. To this day, I can't even smell gin without wanting to vomit.


    my heart is swollen with pride at your accomplishment! ;)
  • HereNBoston

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    Jun 20, 2008 4:43 PM GMT
    McGay saidWhen I was 16, about halfway through shotgunning a quart of gin, I thought "I can't do this, I'm gonna be sick!". Well, I summoned all my strength and opened my throat and just let that baby slide down. I did get sick, immediately, but, I did it when nobody else would take up the challenge. To this day, I can't even smell gin without wanting to vomit.


    Thats just determination right there!
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    Jun 20, 2008 7:04 PM GMT
    For me it would be all the long distance events I've done.

    * Completing the Boston-Provincetown Ride (126 miles)
    * Completing the Boston Marathon (26.2 miles, duh!)
    * Completing the 25K Race Walk Nationals with a 5 minute PR and a 3 minute PR at 20K on the way to it!

    All these took a lot of training, and so that was part of it. It took a lot of effort to get to accomplish this, and it felt worth the effort at the end.