Your comfort zone is, well, comfy! On the flip side, it can keep you exactly where you are for a long time if you're not careful. Not growing, learning, expanding....just the same old stuff. We decided to take a look back on 2017 and recognize areas where we pushed past this safe zone into unchartered territories.
You might not always realize when you're doing this, so we encourage you to take a look and give yourself some appreciation for the areas in your life where you did take that uncomfortable step. It's not as easy as we think, right?! But with practice, you actually can get better at moving past this zone and start challenging yourself more and more. As they say, greatness happens just outside your comfort zone.
Yikes mountain biking!?
I honestly had no idea that this sport would be so hard for me! I grew up riding a bike everywhere, cruising thru Seal Bay or Nymph Falls is like a walk in the park. I have tons of friends that ride & I know so many people that hit those Cumby trails more than one time per week and kill it… how could it be this hard for me?
I started in the spring on a borrowed bike and did not enjoy it at all. Over the summer, I did not have much opportunity (okay, maybe I avoided it) to get out. In September however, I noticed a post about a Ladies Only Mountain biking clinic with Gravity Mountain Biking. I considered just chucking the whole notion of learning but thought seriously about it because this is one of the sports my kids have chosen. Being a mother of boys sometimes I have to suck it up and do what the guys like! (luckily, I am not one for sparkles and crafting) so I decided to give this sport a ‘real college’ try.
I signed up, borrowed a demo bike from my fav bike shop and went. I was nervous - I didn’t know anyone and was completely out of my comfort zone, but I went. I spent 7 plus hours on a mountain bike over 2 days and I kind of started to like it. I liked it enough to keep learning and now am the proud owner of the demo bike I borrowed and a really nice helmet. I have a lot of riding to do before I’m fast but I pushed through my fears. I still feel I have many fears to conquer when I’m out there riding, but I’m doing it and I can only get better.
Mountain Biking is one of those things I wish I had started when I was young and didn’t have all the pre-conditioned fears that I hold now. I have learnt that it is never too late to try something new and it’s always invigorating to step out of one’s comfort zone and learn new things!
It took my persistent fiancé almost 2 years to get me to try Jiu Jitsu. I knew I wanted to try, I wanted to learn some self-defence moves & it kinda looks bad ass...but I always declined. This was waaaaay out of my comfort zone. If you’re not familiar jiu jitsu it’s extremely up close and personal. And sweaty. No such thing as personal space going on here. And I knew that I would be training mostly with guys. No offence boys, but that made the whole thing a little more uncomfortable for me.
However, last May I finally decided to give it a go. As I started to learn (and meet people) not only did I gain more confidence but also a better understanding of this martial art in general. I’m trying to go once a week now, and don’t get me wrong, it’s still not completely comfortable all the time, but it’s getting better :)
Last spring I decided to invest in a mountain bike as well. I hadn’t really been mountain biking much but I wanted to be as active as possible outdoors in the summer and many of my friends are avid bikers. I knew once I bought the bike I would be committed. Turns out I love going! We spent many days this past summer and fall out in Cumby on the trails and I can’t wait for more this year.
I find allowing yourself to try something new, without expectation is important. You don’t have to be great, you don’t even have to be that good! Don’t compare yourself AT ALL to those around you. Let yourself go and try something new and have fun. You just might find something else you love to do.
Not only is it 2018 already, it’s February! Where did the last year go! As I reflect on 2017 and plan my 2018 adventures, I think of the all things that challenged me in the last year. Did I triumph over the challenges? Could I have done something different? Did I learn anything? What will I take into 2018?
The one particular thing that comes to mind was my long mountain runs that were a necessary part of my ultra marathon preparation. I’ve always been ok with solo runs, even longish trail runs. But these big long solo mountain runs of 30km or 40km were something very new to me. If I wanted to be the best prepared I could be for my first ultra race, these runs were necessary. When I couldn’t find any run pals that were up for the distance on that particular day, I took a big breath, packed up my things, and off I went on my own. Cumberland, Strathcona Park. Hornby Island. Beautiful trails that we are so lucky to have so close to home.
I can’t say I wasn’t nervous out on my own, because I sure was. A healthy respect for mother nature is a good thing. So I prepared. I had a route planned and left with my support crew at home. They knew when I was leaving, where I was going, and when I should be back out, and what time was the “time to call for help” time. I carried identification, water, food, a first aid kit, an emergency blanket, waterproof matches, a multi tool, a whistle, and I always had a bell attached to my pack. I did take my cell phone although in some cases I was out of range of service. All these things helped make me feel more relaxed when I was out of my comfort zone.
Was I ever completely relaxed...nope. I was very much ok with that. It helped me make sure I was aware of the trail and aware of my surroundings, always.
A couple things I would do differently... to carry some sort of animal defence product, bear spray or the like, and also a GPS device that uses satellite technology for tracking, texting, and sos calls.
Did I triumph over my challenges? Yes. Could I have done something different? Yes. Did I learn anything? Yes..always!
Life often brings us challenges and pushes us out of our comfort zone. Looking back on this past year, I must say that life threw me a few curve balls. One was being a full-time mom at home while on maternity leave. That was certainly an eye opener! Going from a full-time career woman to being at home definitely took my sanity more often than not. It was a labour of love and it was amazing watching my son grow and sharing those special times together. We definitely cried over spilled milk a few times though—literally!
Getting back into shape after having a baby was another huge challenge. Like every mom, I suffered from lack of sleep, extra weight and feeling generally out of wack. Even though I had a great pregnancy and kept coming to classes until almost the end, I still felt like I had to start from scratch in a lot of ways. Thankfully I had an amazing support network of helpers and cheerleaders (including my Bodynetix family) who kept me going. I am running 10k again, doing C2G burpees and deadlifting more than I did before I had Lincoln.
It feels good to be back to my fitness level. It took a lot of hard work, chiropractor, massage appointments and tears, haha. My body has changed, my life has changed and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Nothing truly important ever seems to come easy in this life. Perhaps it’s the hard work that makes us appreciate the result. Whatever it is you are working towards, love the journey too because the end will come. It will.
Have a great year everyone! Crush those goals, whatever they may be
Getting myself out of my comfort zone is something I have to keep pushing myself to do. I have always been very self-conscious and have never liked putting myself out there. Being up in front of people is one of the hardest things for me to do as I don’t like being the centre of attention. But this last year, I had a goal to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things...so I did.
One of the little ways I did this was by going to our favourite spot on the river with our kids and friends as much as we could. That may not seem like much but I really don’t love being in a bathing suit, lol. However, I also don’t want to miss any more opportunities to do fun things with my kids. Being a mom of 2 beautiful girls, I don’t want them to see or model my insecurities. I want them to be confident in themselves and not be as self-conscience as I am.
I also tried zip lining for the first time, it was so much fun! It was something I had missed out on a few years before because I was too scared to try.
But by far the biggest thing I have done that is way out of my comfort zone is becoming a fitness trainer. Working out is one of my favorite things to do. It’s my outlet and I do love working with people but I didn’t have the confidence in myself to think I could actually train others. Being in front of people is so far out of my comfort zone that it took everything to push past the nerves and just go for it. I’m still not one that loves being center of attention but I do love teaching fitness classes. Pushing myself to try new things no matter how uncomfortable it made me has been so worth it!