Getting Outside of Your Comfort Zone
I've never been a fan of gyms. They’ve always made me feel claustrophobic. I've always preferred running outside and strength training at home. I injured my left foot during marathon training and was forced to cross train in the gym. When I walked in for the first time in years, my attitude was horrible. I felt like a kid being put on time out.
To make the experience less irritating, I decided to take a spin cycle class for the first time.
I loved it! I also started using the elliptical and indoor bike more. After a month of trying different gyms, I ended up signing up with 24 hour fitness.
I did this because one of my goals for the year is to get outside of my comfort zone. Since I'm finished with marathon training, I have started weight training. I've always dreaded the weight room but I decided not to let fear get the best of me.
Last week was my first time lifting real weights. Thankfully I have a trainer who is teaching me how to use the machines because I had no idea how to do it myself. On the first day we did legs and ab work. When I started feeling the burn I told myself “You will never get better unless you push yourself”. This quote has helped me to the finish line several times. I also envision my success in order to keep going. I know that I won’t be able to get the results that I want if I don’t keep trying. The workout felt great after. I felt stronger.
The next day was chest, shoulders, arms and abs. This day wasn’t as easy as leg day. I haven’t worked out my arms as much as I used to.
The only exercise my arms usually get is from planking (core strength during marathon training) and yoga. While this did help, it was nothing compared to the weights.
After trying out the machines in the weight room, I actually liked it. All this time of dreading the weight room and machines and now I like it.
Another fear of mine has always been running at a fast pace. I didn't run track in high school. I started light jogging and running in college. As I got more into the running I challenged myself to get faster. The process has been tough. My lungs burn, my stomach twists and I often want to stop. Even with all these feelings, I still persevere and finish strong. To date my fastest mile has been 7:46. This is 8 minutes faster than when I started running 11 years ago.
Each day I try to take more risks and do things to get outside of my comfort zone. What I am learning in my fitness journey also applies to my everyday life.
What do you do to get outside of your comfort zone?