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Living Outside the Comfort Zone

I can now say it has been a year since I joined Gain Strength and Conditioning. What does that mean? First of all, I probably won’t be sharing progress updates about how long I’ve been there since it is now my gym. (Even though it is not  a typical gym.) For some reason I needed to get past that 1 year milestone to realize this is my new world and I am not going back to the way life was a year ago. Even though some days I want to.

Living outside your comfort zone is hard. I wrote about the Elephant and the Rider and some days I just want the elephant to lead the way. Those days are hardest. Those are the days I want to fight everything and go back to the old comfort zone. This is when I realize how perilously close the borders of that comfort zone are. What would happen if I just stepped over the line? I am still afraid I would not want to return to the uncomfortableness of a new way of doing things. You would think after a year things wouldn’t feel new, but depending on the day when I walk into the gym I decide to put my game face on and get it done whether I feel “comfortable” or not. Some days I wish I was not me and I wish I was an outgoing, social person who loved interacting with casual acquaintances and strangers. I am pretty sure the look on my face says , “Please don’t talk to me,” which makes it even more difficult. It has taken me a year to feel comfortable enough to interact with a few other people, occasionally, after I have warmed up my body and my mind. After a year I have learned I am ridiculously sensitive to other people’s moods-something I have never paid attention to before. If others are as hypersensitive as me, then no wonder nobody approaches me.

Newsflash: This is who I am. And although I may not appear to be a friendly person, those that I am close to know that I am a quiet, moody, introspective, curious, creative person who thrives on details and trying to get it right- whatever “it” happens to be. If I believe in something I am passionate and loyal and go out of my way to share.

But this is also who I am:

  • I may have something to say and add to a conversation but I will rarely jump into a conversation for fear of other’s reactions (the hypersensitive to moods thing)
  • I am curious and will ask questions until I get that feeling that “enough is enough” and then I am left wondering in my head if I am doing it right and will not ask the same question again. Ever. I would rather spend all day trying to figure something out than be that person who has to ask one more time.
  • When I am with a group of people, some days I want to walk away-turn around, leave, just go. Maybe that is why I like to run. I can literally run away.
  • It is easier for me to be happy with myself and my accomplishments when I am by myself or with a few close people; when I am in a group or with other people I am so distracted by my uncomfortableness I just feel, well, uncomfortable.

This will be the year of me embracing my uncomfortableness. I am committed to sticking with it because I believe that in the big picture, all the good is worth a little bit of discomfort. I have experienced so much improvement and growth in the last year I would not have thought it possible a year ago. All I really wanted to do when I joined Gain was to maintain my fitness level. I really had pretty average expectations. And as I recall, I guess I really thought I would continue to do all the things I was doing before in the gym.

In reality, my training has completely changed:

No more personal gym and trainer

No more kettlebells- swings, snatches, Turkish getups, presses, all things kettlebell.

No more of many things I used to do 2x week like renegade rows, weighted pushups, uneven pushups, rear elevated pushups, weighted leg lifts, lateral pulldowns, side planks with resistance,TRX work Romanian deadlifts, deadlifting for power


  • I do not have a personal trainer and I train with other people in a gym that has a schedule
  • I train 3 days instead of 2, but my workouts are longer-so more work
  • I learned how to squat-correctly
  • I learned how to lift a barbell over my head. With weight.
  • I learned about the importance of mobility-this alone has been worth all of the uncomfortableness I could ever endure.
  • I do not need to go to the chiropractor.
  • I am learning to speak up for myself and advocate for my training
  • I learned how to breathe and run more efficiently

But more importantly, I learned that my fitness environment can be a positive source of energy that can feed my desire for learning, creativity, attention to detail and passion, if I can manage my uncomfortableness. I like knowing that there are professionals watching that can prevent me from doing something potentially harmful or wrong. I like being able to ask questions and getting answers that allow me to learn and put all the pieces together. There is so much to like and learn from I am willing to live outside my comfort zone.











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