Let's talk about something that can be applied broadly across more than just your training plan. It's something I've found to be so important in every facet of life that I'm making this topic the first in a series called:
GETTING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!!
"If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones."
Don't get me wrong... I love routine a lot of the time. I like coming home and knowing what I'll see when I walk through the door -- the chaos, the shrieking voices, the feet, the smell of something cooking. It feels nice to do some things over and over like tradition.
But there are also times when you gotta stop. Break up your routine and your habits to try something completely "out of character" (whatever your character is).
Someone once told me it didn't surprise them that I was drawn to running (after trying lots of different sports through school). When I asked why they said, "because you're kind of a loner." It's true. With the exception of the occasional Golden Gate Park kickball game or friendly soccer match at the playground, I am not a team sport person. I like being alone when I run, and I welcome any opportunity to get a few moment alone in real life.
The pic above is me. At a boxing class. It was a team building event with my colleagues (who at the time were all women - women I love and respect a whole lot). Even though everyone was so excited about trying out the boxing gloves, I felt seven shades of how the hell can I get out of this. I am at least a decade older than many of them, and the idea of wearing spandex in a fluorescent room together while pounding the crap out of a bag - and each other! - was...not my first choice let's say.
But, like most other things I do that feel uncomfortable at first, after a few minutes of laughing and shaking our booties to Single Ladies, it was all good. Now I can cross it off my list. My point is...try it. Just do it before you think too much about it. It's like jumping off the dock at the lake before you take a second to think about how freezing cold it will be!
Same with parenting. I had hard and strict rules when The Dude was first born. No fast food. No processed food. No toy weapons. No television. No skipping naps. No fun. (kidding about that last one but sometimes it felt that way to my kids!)
So the pic above is The Dude trying out his new Christmas gift -- a bow and arrow with target. I bought it without telling Jon and when The Dude opened it Christmas morning, his jaw dropped. He couldn't believe this gift came from me since I'm the one who is always deleting iPad games with weapons and tossing the occasional Lego gun or sword in the trash.
But I'm raising great kids. The Dude and I have real life talks a lot and we don't protect him from topics like violence, so he has a good head on his shoulders. And I'm pretty sure giving him a foam dart was not going to turn him into a criminal (though I did beg him to use the "target" side instead of the "deer in the scope" side but he over-ruled :)
My point is that even with parenting, it's nice to shake things up. To let the kiddos experience something they don't usually get to try. For example, I'm the parent who doesn't stop my kids from stomping in puddles. Conveniently we live very close to our playground so it's easy to get home and get in new clothes, but generally speaking neither Jon nor I are strict about keeping clothes clean.
And of course sometimes my advice will backfire. Take this fine example of me being so ultra cool free range parenting that I let Croc play in a bath of dog poop and pee. I didn't realize until I stood within smelling distance of him what he was actually making mud pies in...
And of course sports - especially running - are great ways to get out of your comfort zone!! Go for morning runs with a friend. Join a running club. Run on a trail instead of the road. Run on the road instead of the treadmill. Enter your first race (I was almost 30 when I entered my first one!).
Once you start doing it, it becomes addictive and almost de-sensitizes you from the uneasiness the next time you're faced with the opportunity to try something new!
Tell me: What have you done lately that was outsize your zone?
If you are a parent, do you let your kiddo roam free?