How many of you have reached outside of your comfort zone recently? How did you feel? Probably a bit nervous, scared, uncomfortable. The reality of being able to achieve our dreams take stepping out into the unknown, and through fear. Fear is a great way to confirm you are on track with growth.
Are you doing this with your fitness?
You can’t grow stronger, unless you get uncomfortable.
It’s good to be uncomfortable. It’s a sign you that growth is happening. Physically and mentally.
If that is the case, I am growing a lot right now.
The road to my next triathlon has kicked into full swing in the last month and I am feeling the daily impact. Sore muscles are a reminder of the work I’m doing to get to my next goal.
Sore muscles = lots of fitness growth.
Where is your comfort zone?
This is a really easy question for all of us to answer. Our comfort zone is where we live everyday. It may show up in your fitness as the same workout every week.
Let’s say you go to the gym three times a week. On every trip you might head to the treadmill to warm up, do a few weights, and call it good.
Have you ever been curious about a class at the gym? Watched your fellow gym rats smiling and working hard behind the glass to the pounding music.
What stopped you from checking it out?
Any dreamer will tell you that the key to success is overcoming fear. There’s the work of putting in the hours toward mastery – 10,000 hours as Malcolm Gladwell reminds us.
Then there is the getting past your fear, or more simply stepping out of your comfort zone.
The best part of being one of the 8 Women Dreamers is the support you get to go for your dreams. Part of that support included the gentle push out of each others comfort zone.
We are constantly working toward our goals but just like everyone, we occasionally need a kick in the butt. A little push out of our comfort zone.
My latest step out of the comfort zone was to sign up for my first bike race.
Running is how I started toward my fitness goal. In all honesty, I was walking very slowly before even attempting to run. The only reason I even jumped on a bike was to get ready for my first triathlon.
Then the bug bit. I knew I had to do another triathlon. That meant more swimming, biking and running. A big milestone would be trying a bike race on its own.
I stepped out of my comfort zone when I signed up for my first race in a few months.
Tips to step out of your comfort zone
- Educate yourself: Often the things we fear taking that step toward – like that fitness class – are only because we don’t know what to expect. Do a little research into your next big leap.
- Grab a friend: Taking a support system with us when we are pushing out of our comfort zone. Having a buddy system can help keep you on track, and with the right combination, keep both of you gaining new experiences.
- Take tiny steps toward facing your fear: Walking into the first experience of anything – fitness class, new job, first day of school – is nerve wracking. So get there in small steps. Say hi to the fitness instructor after the class and ask about it. Just meeting them outside the class may make you more comfortable to give it a try.
- Meet someone new: It took me about 2 months in my workout bootcamp to talk to anyone outside an occasional high five after a tough workout. Now I have names to go with my fellow sweaty workout partners which makes it much easier to give a shout of encouragement. Plus if I am used to seeing them, I know they are used to seeing me, which is another incentive to go every time.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
– Neale Donald Walsh
What will you do this week to break out of your comfort zone?
You’ve got a week so here’s what I want you to do.
Choose one thing this week that will take you out of your comfort zone. If you are feeling really positive about it, I’d love to hear it in the comments.
Go get your fit on – Heather
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and blogger who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
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