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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

Instead:

  • 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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