Fitness is defined by how much progress you have made in your journey, no matter how little it may seem. Whether it’s increasing your bench press by 5 pounds or 50 pounds, progress has been made and you are inching closer to your goal.
With progress comes risk and failure. Adding weight to your max bench press, or any other lift, carries the risk of failing to complete your set and needing a spotter to help you finish. You may only be able to crank out 3 reps, and be done. And that’s OK. To make progress, you have to test your limits and see how much you can lift. Getting to the point of failure and not being able to do another rep means you’ve exerted the maximum amount of effort possible. It encourages you to come back to the gym with a vengeance and turn failure into success. Failure breeds success and progress, in part because failure forces you to try your hardest and motivates you to work harder.
In Master of the Flying Guillotine, Wu’s daughter sets a precedent and competes with only men in the martial arts tournament, the first time this has ever happened. Though she is not able to defeat her opponent and is bailed out by her father, she is able to gain experience from her failures, and is able to apply it to her future in martial arts.