Saturday, December 21, 2013

On Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone

On Wednesday No Meat Athlete posted a blog about how the things he accomplished this year were the direct result of a resolution he made at the end of last year.

If I hadn't read that post, I would have never known he struggled with anxiety. After all, he did just get back from a nationwide book tour where he was gone from his family for two months!

I didn't catch the original post, but I feel like I'm in a similar place in my life now as he was then.

Of course, many people resolve to do this or that with the start of a fresh year. But why do we wait until a new year to make changes?

Every day is a chance to start over; to make changes in your life you never thought possible. Even if they're small changes.

I debated for a few days whether or not I should apply to be an ambassador for the Derby marathon. I've been extremely introverted throughout my entire life (mostly due to self-esteem issues I had when I was younger). Even though I've changed my life and those issues are more or less a thing of the past, I still struggle with doing things that are outside of my comfort zone.

But I've learned over the last few years that the most rewarding things I've done have been those things that have made me uncomfortable in some way. In some ways I feel like that's a necessary part of growth.

Now that I'm on the committee, I want to make sure I do my part. Getting out and talking to people is still really intimidating to me. In a lot of ways it's similar to the diet changes I've made recently. But I know if I approach it the same and take it one day at a time, at the end of it all I'll look back and be amazed at what I was able to accomplish.

And I really am excited to get out and meet more people in the running community. That's something Jennifer and I have said from the beginning -- everyone we meet who is involved in this community have been amazing. Even though we're not the fastest, we're still accepted openly because this truly is a community where everyone is welcome.

Ultimately, I'm doing these things for me. But I hope that those of you following along will be motivated from my story, just as I have been from Matt Frazier's.

If you're considering racing in the spring but haven't done anything like this before and aren't sure where to start, there is a free training program offered by Norton Sports Health that begins on January 14th. Although I've already started with the No Meat Athlete program, I'll be there and I hope to attend as many group runs as possible.

If you have literally never run before (which is exactly where I was just a few short years ago) and want to get a jump-start, I can't say enough good things about the Couch to 5K program. There are lots of free podcasts out there that you can put on your iPod or smartphone that tell you when to walk and when to run so you don't even have to think about it, too.

I know a lot of people want to get a few smaller races under their belt before committing to something bigger like a half-marathon or marathon. If that's the case for you, the Triple Crown of Running is the perfect way of building up to the Derby races (personally, I wouldn't think of doing the Derby races without including these). And it just so happens that the first of that series -- the Anthem 5K -- is only 9 short weeks away, which is exactly how long the Couch to 5K program is.

See what I did there?

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy the holidays with family and I wish you luck with any resolutions you make!

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