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This past weekend I unexpectedly found myself facing one of my oldest demons..
The known and trusted COMFORT ZONE..
What’s really interesting is that I didn’t even realise I was in it. Quite deeply if I’m honest..
Here’s what happened..
I generally head out for a mountain run on either Saturday or Sunday – depending primarily on the weather.
Last weekend the designated day was Sunday. A bit cloudy with a smidgen of wind. Perfect.
Saturday afternoon found me pondering on what route to run. And I noticed (with a little pinch of horror) that I almost automatically mentally selected a route which I run at some point every week. Again (yikes!)..
Yup, the realisation dawned that for most of this year (lockdown related maybe..?) I’ve limited myself to familiar routes that offer less of a challenge. Cue the comfort zone..
And here’s the scary bit – it’s been my choice..!
So the more adventurous (and moderately rebellious) side of me thought about trying something NEW. A route that not only challenged my physically, but emotionally too.
I know, you’re wondering how trail running can be emotionally challenging, right?
Well, I run on my own. Often without a phone. Because that’s what I prefer.
Which means that choosing a route that’s more remote add’s a tinge of fear/excitement. Which I love!
And so on Sunday morning I found myself running/climbing a familiar mountain on a route that I haven’t traversed in probably 5 years. It’s a route that’s not only more remote, but more technically and physically challenging too. Which meant it would thump me right out of my self-induced comfort zone..
I won’t lie, as I ran on the common path towards the start of the route, I tried many times to talk myself out of it.
Well, I sucked it up, pulled on my big-girl panties and started to climb.
It was damn hard work, but it was FABULOUS!
All of it.
The whole experience ticked every box.
And again I was reminded of the VALUE of comfort zones. Yup, I said value.
Because without feeling the mundane stagnation of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t have reached for something MORE.
And the thrill and exhilaration of the entire experience would have felt so much less..
Which brings us back to that same understanding that keeps showing up: (say after me..)
There’s value in ALL our discomfort.
If we allow ourselves to look closely enough..