Yesterday we covered why I think it's a good thing (said like Martha) to get outside your comfort zone. Let me preface this entry with a little story. Picture it: Pacific Grove 2007...
...I had decided to do a triathlon. It was a short (sprint) distance near Monterey. I raised money with Team in Training and the coaches helped me with my workout plan. It was definitely a "step outside your comfort zone" kind of thing. I'm pretty sure I got the wild hair when I found an old triathlon training book, Triathlon 101, at a garage sale. I was somewhat obsessed with it for awhile because it broke down the steps of a triathlon bit by bit and was very noobiesque. I was a little obsessed with it -- reading it over and over and staring at the woman on the front wondering if I could be a fraction of the badass that she appeared to be.
There were a couple of problems with the training:
So I took a leap out of my comfort zone and signed up for swim lessons. What I didn't realize was that I would be in a class with children. Now I'm not saying they were in swim diapers or anything (my husband says I have a flair for the dramatic) but I will say that I am 5'2" and I towered over all of my swim mates. I could have swiped lunch money from any one of them without batting a fin.
Even though it was borderline humiliating -- and surprisingly costly -- I showed up for class every Sunday without fail. And then I woke up early, drove to the gym, and practiced swimming before work. And then when I completely freaked out in open water during a practice swim with Team in Training (because I did NOT put in the work attending all the weekly pool sessions), my amazing husband drove me to and from Aquatic Park after work so I could get in the water and feel more comfortable. He cheered me on from the sidelines as I swam with the seals! It's a good memory.
...then I showed up to Pacific Grove with my awesome and amazing support crew (and my completely real leather handbag) and found out the triathlon gods wanted to move me a bit more outside my comfort zone. More like shove the crap out of me, actually. The day before the race there were shark attacks in the same waters I was about to swim in. I tried not to let it get in my head but it was hard. The funny thing is the real danger in the water that morning was all the algae that wrapped around you as you swam. Crazy!
But what I got out of that trip outside the zone was several things:
Have you ever been in the water when sharks were near?
How old were you when you learned to swim?