We want to be smart in the gym, going heavy and pushing our limits, while simultaneously attempting to stay below the threshold of technical failure, complete exhaustion, etc. These are the territories where injuries occur.
With that being said, don’t be afraid to step outside those constraints on occasion. Take today's workout, for example, run 1200 meters as fast as you can. Instead of pacing it from the start, gradually building in speed, and finishing strong (a wise strategy), go balls out from the start and see how long you can maintain that pace. Worst case scenario you run yourself into oblivion 1/2 way or 3/4 of the way in and have to stop. Best case, you shock yourself and run faster than you thought possible. Both provide a valuable lesson.
You can also apply this lesson to training for an event you once believed to be too challenging to attempt, or trying a sport or activity that scares you. Try a GO RUCK event, go rock-climbing, or some other endeavor that gets your juices flowing- it doesn’t have to be a traditional adrenaline junkie pursuit. Push your physical and mental limits to new heights.
As a disclaimer, I’m not advocating that you go out and carelessly perform activities for the sake of trying to get injured (motorcycle riding, anyone?).
“Pain is temporary, broken bones heal, and chicks dig scars.” – Evil Knevel