Friday, September 11, 2015

Let's Step Into the Zone of Discomfort, together!

The current state of my living room floor. Way too much stuff for 5 days, but I'm learning to pare down...for the next trip.

I'm going on a backpacking trip this weekend with students, none of whom I know very well.

I love backpacking and I love students-- even if they're not in my chorus, in my Spanish classes, or on my cross country team.

As much as I adore backpacking and hanging out with smelly tenth graders for 5 days in the woods far away from a cell-tower, bathrooms, other people...and too close to bears, snakes,  nightly rainstorms, and lots o bugs--I am always a little bit scared and nervous. Every backpacking trip is a pretty big step out of my comfort zone.

Backpacking is a big set of WHAT IFS, MAYBES, POSSIBLES, and UNXPECTEDS...

What if I break my ankle (again) and I have to be medivac'ed out?
What if I didn't bring enough clothes?
What if I don't like the guides? What if they don't like me?
What if they think I'm too fat to do this?
What if I get cold?
What if the students hate me?
What if I get hot?
What if I can't get up that stupid mountain (pick one) without someone helping me? God forbid it's a student!

OMG maybe I should just stay. Maybe I should just do something that doesn't require me carrying my own toilet paper and and trowel.

BUT NOPE. Every year I decide to go. I decide to lean into that discomfort because it's the only way for me to grow. Also, I hope that my students see me simultaneously dreading and enjoying the trip, learning something new, and ultimately becoming a better, more complete person with a host of different experiences under my belt.

We'll see starting today!

Do you lean?
Do you jump?
Do you tip-toe like a ninja, body flop?

What crazy things have you done, fitness-related or not, that have made you grow exponentially? JOIN THE DISCUSSION IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!


  1. You go girl! You have a great adventurous spirit and I love that. Not only adventurous, but courageous and brave. Snakes.... just the word will keep me from backpacking or hiking this time of year. To answer your question..I tiptoe outside my comfort zone. I go cautiously into the unknown. But I have to say that once a make the commitment, I carry on. A recent example was a 6-day bike ride in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. I trained like crazy, but just the anticipation of riding hills and spending that many days with people I didn't know was definitely outside my comfort zone, but I did it anyway and I'm so proud of my accomplishments. I applaud YOU for carrying on!

  2. Argh, I can relate. Maybe not point-for-point, but yes. I have been trying to be more adventurous, and one thing I did recently was sign up for my first 10K, which also happens to be a trail race, so my first trail race as well! And it's next month! Yikes!

    I keep wondering why the heck I put that pressure on myself. But, deep down, I know I can do it if I just get out there and train, and one of my goals had been a 10K sometime this fall. And I have been intrigued with trail running. So there you have it, I just dove right in and signed up. On the bright side, I got to get a new pair of trail running sneakers, and I get to visit a place that is new to me!

    Wish me luck, I will need it. Have fun on your trip!

  3. Oh goodness...have fun! I do not go out of my comfort zone very well in the fitness area. I've been working out with a personal trainer for six month building strength (which was a huge deal for me to do) and feel just ready to start 'micro jogging' as I've labeled it in my mind. I went to a track last week to try to walk jog a bit and there were people working out on the soccer field and it took me four laps before I got the courage up to run a bit. But I did..and it felt good. But I was killing myself inside the whole time with my internal dialogue... "just run for crying out loud" "what if I they ask me to stop because they're worried I might have a heart attack" seriously. I can make up amazing stories in my head to stop me from doing things.

  4. First, let me say that you and your blog are so inspiring -- and I can't wait to hear the details of your trip. As for stepping outside of my comfort zone, well, my husband and I are planning to take a 21-mile walk tomorrow. We're training for Avon's 39.3-mile Walk To End Breast Cancer, which is in a bit more than a month. This is our last very long walk before we taper and prep for the event. I feel like you in that I'm looking forward to it, but dreading it at the same time. But I know I'll come out better from having done it -- and will be all the more prepared for the Walk!

  5. Oh, I love camping and backpacking! But with teenagers--THAT would be out of my comfort zone :D

    My recent foray out of my comfort bubble was to wear running/fitness tights at the gym *without anything over them.* I normally have a homemade awesomesauce running skirt over them because the store-bought ones are about 4" long and ride up so much that I'm basically wearing a running belt with a pocket too small to hold a stick of gum. Speaking of which, the tops of my homemade skirts are just one big zipper pocket. But I digress. Going skirtless is huge for me. I have a thousand voices in the back of my head that all say that I am being immodest, my rear/thighs/etc. are too big, that I will somehow offend someone because my body exists. But it was about 90 degrees with stupid high humidity and at that time the only tights I had available were my winter tights with the thinsulate and I. Just. Couldn't. Screw them. Screw those voices.

    And you know what? The world didn't end. Nobody noticed. I just did my workout and everything was fine. Imagine all the things I could have done before if I hadn't listened to that darned Greek chorus of self-hate for so long!

  6. Stepping out of my comfort zone today is having the courage to start over again. For the past three years I'd work out 4 to 5 times a week. I loved working out. I started running about two years ago and completed my first half marathon. It was great and I hadn't or never thought I could do anything like that. My right knee/ shin area started bothering me so I stopped running. I continued doing other things tho. But last year I began asking myself for the first time in my life if I'd ever reach my weight goals and always consumed with how fast I ran and just constantly comparing my journey and goals to everyone else's and that overshadowed just the pure joy of being able to be active and just "do me" as you so eloquently put it. My father passed this summer and I also had another devastating circumstance that hit my family right after that and for the first time in three years I've been sedentary . My internal dialogue has been trying to encourage me to get back into being active along with my family who knows how much of an addict I used to be. Partly I'm ashamed and keep asking myself how did I get here? I know better!! When will my second wind come?? Well mirna you have been my second wind. I saw your segment on the news last night and I'm still just in awe!! I'm going to get back up and not look back. I think I can now be here without "permission "to do the things that I love at my pace and my way and if the weight never comes off I now vow to love me unconditionally. God bless you and thank you.

  7. I completed my first half marathon in February with the Heart to Start program. I'm fat and slow and I have been afraid of doing another. I have been too intimidated to do another but I signed up for the Holiday Half in December and I'm in my second week of training and I must tell you what an inspiration that you have been to me.

    Thank you for talking about being fat and slow and still doing things.