LL-there's nothing wrong with pushing your limits ?! If no one ever pushed, there would be no new routes. Do you EVER fall ?
Just because a route is "runout" doesn't mean it's deadly
Crag discussion. Accustomed to defend my point of view, I practically miss your point and was close to gave a superficial answer of what I feel.
If I understand the question in my words. People push there limits every day and open new route, new chalenge. My limit is it the limit of every body else? It is not because I am at my limit that some run out route is not under the limit of someone else.
My limit is not the limit of some one else. But if I am in a party, I will have to consider the limit of the party. In some case, I will be the stronger and other place the weaker. To be honest with my friend, I think that I should be honest with me. I bail in a 5.6 one day, under the large smile of Base. I was not at my limit, but I didn't understand the move. He was able to do it, but we didn't have time.
There is time to push my limit and there is time to push the limit my sport. For me, I can't expect to push the limit of the sport. If I am the first at a cliff and open a new route, I didn't push my limit. I just do a route where no body try it. This is particularly true if I take more than three try. When I work a route, it is to do a project where I should do it clean, without falling, on sight, and without beta. I can work a route on sport or top roping. I work a route when the danger of a fall is very low. it can be on lead in thin air for example.
I look at gym, sport and boulder climber and I have an impression that they want to be good. They want to meet the standard of those who push the limits of the sport. My reflex is to say: Hey, you are going to kill yourself if you climb a 5.10 like odyssey of an artichoke in canon, and can't do the 5.7 run out because it is a run out slab. For most of them, it is an insult. I told them that they are not as good as they train in a gym. In fact, that they don't know there limits.
How can you evaluate your limit most be the next question I think. Old climber are good references as there limits decrease. They learned to push there limit, but also to be honest and train.
In some case, some climber just want to be in the cliff and enjoy the rock without pushing there limit. it is the case of parent with child and too much work in a week. They want to climb because the only think they have to think is a piece of rock of 3 feet x 3 feet and nothing else. They don't want to push there limit as competitor try to do.