My problem has never been GETTING out of my comfort zone, my problem is STAYING out of my comfort zone. I am really good at getting, and staying, uncomfortable in a physical sense though. I work-out every single day without fail and I’m always looking for the next challenge whether that be long distance running, powerlifting, bodybuilding.
Although I know the growth that comes from constantly putting yourself out there, the fear and the vulnerability that come along with it always cripple my attempts.
The whole idea of my sister and I starting a blog came to because it was the most uncomfortable thing I could think of doing. I’ve never been a writer and never been good at formulating my thoughts into coherent points so doing so instantly makes me uncomfortable.
The thing that I keep realizing though is that life really resides in those uncomfortable moments, doesn’t it? The moments that i’ve really felt most alive are when im in the fire, challenging myself both physically and mentally. For example, late last year (2019) I signed up for a 10k Trail Run at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC that took place in February. As soon as I signed up I knew I had to get to work and start training or else I would fail. My cardio has always been subpar and I’ve definitely never been a runner, so I knew this goal I had of running a 10K was out of my comfort zone.
I started with 1 mile everyday, and those first two weeks I thought my legs were going to explode! As i started to increase the amount of miles that I was running per week, the pain only compounded and my mind decided it wanted to quit along with my body. I never thought that running was so tough and could push to be that uncomfortable but here I was whining in my own mind about running another mile day after day even though I was the one who signed up for the race. How does that make any sense? So I had a decision to make. Give up and be content with failure, or push myself to be uncomfortable and reach my goal. Easy Choice. I became friends with the pain. I embraced each mile for what it was, a stepping stone to a better me, a building block to a goal I had set for myself. For the next month leading up the race I ran 15-20 miles a week so when race day came, I accomplished my goal. I ran the race and finished the 10K (6.4 miles) without any hiccups. Was it hard? Yes. Did I want to quit 10 times? Yes. But I didn’t, and that’s the point. I ran straight into the fire and did exactly what I set out to do.
As much as this post is a story about me getting out of my comfort zone to accomplish something, it is a challenge to you to do the same. Decide today to do something that you’ve never done, whether that’s a physical challenge or writing a blog post, and DO IT! One of two things will happen. You will either accomplish that goal and gain confidence in yourself or you will learn more about yourself in the pursuit of that goal, and be able to do it better the next time. Either one is a win, and neither are comfortable. Go get it!