Thursday, January 7, 2016

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

Wow.  I haven’t written in ages.  Guess it was largely because of the fact that I couldn’t run in December, so I felt like I was in limbo and wasn’t really in the mood to dive into some new workout, so I just figured I’d hold off on the fitness goals until January.  Plus, let’s face it – December is a busy month.  Three kids to buy Christmas for, along with all the family, food prep, school party stuff, school projects all coming due during December for the kids, etc.  I just wasn’t in a blogging frame of mind.

I’m happy to report that my little hiatus from working out on my right foot has helped TREMENDOUSLY.  It still hurts a bit, don’t get me wrong, but it’s WAY better than it was.  I’ve started walking again (for fitness – I never stopped walking for "life in general" type stuff), and am going to wait to run until I’m fully without pain.  Not sure when that’ll be, but it’s cool.  I have other options.

But before I get into my "options", I want to say that a major resolution for me this year is to get out of my comfort zone and stop being a chicken about trying new things, going new places, etc. 

Case in point?  The gym at my workplace.  I have worked here for nearly 2 years and while I’ve been pursuing fitness for much of that time I’ve never stepped foot in the gym here.  I had my “reasons”: 
  • Wasn’t sure I actually had time to get over there during the day. 
  • Wasn’t sure I had time during my lunch hour to work out and take a shower.
  • Wasn’t sure I wanted to work out in front of people I actually work with (i.e. fat shame). 
Really, though, those were just the reasons I allowed myself to vocalize (even to myself, sometimes) – in reality I was just kind of nervous to go check it out.

Yes, I’m one of those people who gets nervous about going new places.  Looking out of place. Looking like I don't know what’s going on.  And yes, in my rational brain I realize that this is completely ridiculous.

I don’t know why I’m this way, and I’ve fought it some over the years, and mostly hid it – pretending to be an adventurous badass.  And, in all fairness, I used to be much more likely to step outside my comfort zone – back when I was a teenager and when I was in college – because I wanted people to THINK I was confident and adventurous etc, but as I got older I guess my “give a crap gene” kind of toned down.  But that isn’t a good thing!!! It just kept me hiding in my normal routine! It’s pathetic is what it is!!! It’s held me back from seeking out groups to join, places to see, hobbies to develop, and even restaurants to go to over the years. 

How I'd like to be perceived!  Oooo-Raaaaahhh!

Reality?  Me, when I need to do something outside my comfort zone.  LAME!
So, while I didn’t make this resolution until after New Years, I’m making it now:  I resolve to step outside my comfort zone. Whenever I feel like being a chicken is holding me back from trying something I’d really like to do, I’m just going to MAKE MYSELF DO IT!!  I’ll let you know the next time this comes up.  Wish me luck!

Happily, in the case of the gym at work I’ve recently had assistance with my wuss-gene from my friend Allison. She is a “serious” weight lifter. As in “going to compete in a power lifting competition in April” serious. She gets up a 4 am to go to her gym and get her workouts in before driving an hour to get to work by 7 am. Girlfriend is at home in a gym. 

So shortly before the holidays she announced that I was going to join the gym at work with her and we were going to start going to the M-W-F lunchtime yoga class. I was all over it. When I have someone to hold my hand, I’m all about new things! (Not literally hold my hand, BTW, I'm not that pathetic!)

Today I went over for the first time with Allison. And you know what? It is an awesome little gym.  WAY better than the lame gym in my neighborhood amenity center. More treadmills, a couple of recumbent bikes, an upright bike, weight machines, free weights. And not busy, at least when we were in there. Showers and a lovely locker room. It was really, really nice. And as per usual, I’m kicking myself for not investigating sooner.

The old saying is so true:  It may be uncomfortable at first, but you almost never regret it if you actually allow yourself to step outside your comfort zone. 

So what does this mean for me?  It means Bike workouts and Weight Training, that’s what it means!!!  And I am going to try the yoga with Allison, probably next Wednesday.  But my main priority now that I’ve seen how awesome and convenient this gym seems to be is to develop a plan for incorporating non-running type workouts into my life. 

Having been slapped down by the running gods for going out too aggressively in my goal for a ½ marathon last fall, I’m going to change gears and work on developing bike skills and even swimming skills while the foot finishes healing. I’m not giving up the running, though! I love it too much, and I’m confident that my foot is healing up nicely and I just need some more time. 

Who knows, maybe a triathlon will enter my life sometime in the near future!