When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
I think the reason so many of us are drawn to triathlon is that there is always something to work on and different ways to push our limits. Triathlon is a sport of continual improvement and learning about ourselves in the process, which is exactly how I ended up in Flagstaff, Arizona for a month. I wanted to work on climbing and descending on the bike, running hills and living at altitude which are difficult to replicate near Houston. It would be easy to stay in my comfort zone and keep doing what I know and am good at. But instead, I’m here pushing myself to new heights and loving the process.
I recently rode up Snow Bowl Mountain. I loved riding the 6 miles up the mountain; it was beautiful, challenging, and breathtaking. Descending the mountain was another story. I had to stop twice to regroup on the way down. A lot of people love switchbacks and fast downhill descents. I’m working on improving my bike handling skills while descending and relaxing and actually enjoying the ride down. I’m definitely pushing my comfort zone and feelings of safety on that mountain. I came here to work on my mountain descending skills and I’ll keep working on it until it becomes easier.
I’ve also run on trails that are way out of my comfort zone. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of surgeries and normally run on pavement and stable ground. When I completed the trail run, I was proud that I tried something different and enjoyed it. It would have been easier to find a flat paved road and complete my workouts. Instead of listening to the inner voice that kept reminding me I could get hurt running on trails, I took a chance and I’m glad that I did. It’s easy to put limits on what we can do and achieve. It’s easy to stay comfortable and do what we know.
Growth comes from believing in yourself and taking steps that can be uncomfortable at first. Talk to your coach and identify areas that you need to work on and create a plan. Be willing to listen and take the steps to reach your goals.
What do you need to work on that you’ve been putting off?
What do you have to lose?