I’m going to share my usual “Weekend Inspiration” quote a little early this week because it really ties into what I wanted to write about today – stepping out of your comfort zone.
This is something I’ve been finding myself doing over and over again in the past year and a half or so, starting with running and doing my first race right through being back in school and starting my physical therapy observation hours.
I am not typically a big fan of change (I wouldn’t even look at my dad for like a week when he shaved his beard! No, I wasn’t 5 years old…I think I was in high school), but the more tiny steps I take out of my comfort zone the easier they’re getting.
It can be hard to take those steps though, and sometimes you’ll fall flat on your face. Sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally.
Today I literally fell flat on my face in yoga trying a new pose, and you know what? Instead of feeling embarrassed about it I giggled, got up and tried it again! My teacher even praised me for trying something out of my comfort zone and talked about how falling reminds us that we’re human and as long as we’re strong enough to get back up nothing can stop us.
So I got back up and I tried the pose again, and again, and again until FINALLY after face planting onto my mat about 5 times I got it! It was only a few seconds before I fell out of it again, but I did it!
(Note: This is TOTALLY a work in progress, but for those of you who want to see what I was working on this is (a very messy version of) Grasshopper pose!)
Honestly not too long ago (especially since the teacher presented it to us as a challenging pose, even admitting that she could not do it), I probably would have sat back and watched the “advanced” students try it. It’s only in recent months that I’ve begun to explore poses (like arm balances) that I just assumed I couldn’t do. It’s that first time when you’re expecting to fail and instead you think, “holy s#%$! I’m doing it!”, that makes every face plant (or for the runners – every blister/ ice bath/ sore muscle) worth it.
It’s hard to put into words, but I think that’s what’s been pulling me out of my comfort zone. That feeling of accomplishment, of setting a goal, working hard and reaching it (aka: the “holy s#%$! I’m doing it” feeling). Before I went from non-runner to training for and completing a half marathon I can’t remember the last time I had that feeling.
I don’t know about you, but I think sometimes as adults the opportunity to be challenged and work hard to accomplish something you’re truly proud of doesn’t present itself in our day to day lives. It’s something we need to seek out, we need to step outside of that comfort zone and find that challenge for ourselves.
It may sound crazy, but without the success of training for and running a marathon I don’t think I would have had the courage to leave my job and go back to school for a new career, or to become a certified yoga teacher. It truly amazes me how something like deciding to take one small step out of my comfort zone and go for a run one day began a chain reaction that has changed my life in so many ways.