Being comfortable is awesome. Adjusting the thermostat in my house or car by a single degree to hit that perfect temperature is the best. Indoor plumbing, soft socks, refrigerators and premium cable TV shows all make life slightly more worth living.
Being comfortable is...well, comfortable. But being too comfortable means that I'm not challenging myself. Going outside of my comfort zone means building strength, learning about other people outside my immediate circle, and discovering new experiences. Being too comfortable could mean that I'm not growing as a human.
I talk about this often with my clients, but I feel like I really connected with this concept this winter:
Along with a few hundred others, I signed up for the HAT Run 50K--my first race on a trail and a really hilly one at that. Not only do I hate cold, I'm not a trail runner. I have a love/hate relationship with nature; I love it in theory, but I'm prissy. The thought of wading through a stream is wholly unappealing. Also, to say that I'm clumsy is to say that the surface of the sun is moderately warm.
Commitment made, I dragged my butt out of my comfortable bed in the dark early morning over and over again this winter. I layered up, then added some more layers, and I pushed myself to work hard. And I surprised myself. In what turned out to be Baltimore's second coldest February on record (and during a super busy time for my business), I didn't miss one long run. I showed up for weeknight workouts on rainy and cold nights. I let go of staring at my watch and analyzing my pace. I saw eagles and deer. I only took one bad fall (hey, scars prove you're a badass) and got hopelessly lost alone on a trail just one time. I challenged all of my pre-conceived notions about just how uncomfortable this process was going to be, and I ended up actually enjoying the training.
Hopefully I'll see all of my work pay off in my big event this Saturday, but the experience of pushing myself out of my comfort zone has been it's own reward.
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