It is the space where we feel at ease, in control and safe. So why would we leave this wonderful space? Especially as we get older, our comfort zone becomes more defined and secure.But a comfort zone can also mean being stagnant and in a rut. Do you remember the excitement of being a kid and trying something for the first time? The exhilaration of trying something then telling everyone all about it. When was the last time you have left your comfort zone and felt that same rush?
Challenge 1 – Lyra
This is a challenge I had picked for Jackie. I found CircoBats six months ago when moving house. It was very much out of my comfort zone, if not to say I was terrified, when I first joined one of their classes. It was a huge challenge but the welcoming trainers and encouraging words of other participants, made me go back for more. I was just waiting for an opportunity to share this experience with Jackie.
I remember my first Lyra class. How scary it was to sit on the hoop and let go with my hands and eventually feeling safe and secure. I also had to remember to nurse a couple of Lyra kisses (aka bruises) after. Every class is still a challenge but so much fun! I loved seeing all those emotions come up in Jackie’s face. From first feeling scared, to having a big brave smile on her face.
My personal challenge for our Lyra challenge, were a few new tricks I hadn’t done before. Having built up the confidence to trust and follow my trainers instructions, I was able to get into a few new postures.
Big thank you to Chantelle from CircoBats!
Challenge 2 - Silks
The second challenge was another aerial challenge, Aerial Silks with Alex from ChircoBats. Even though I have been attending classes for six months, I am far from great at it and there is one thing I am absolutely terrified of… Terrified to that stage that I turn into a toddler throwing a tantrum “I am not doing this” and digging my heels into the ground… DROPS! I know people who absolutely love them but this is not me. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching drops performed in shows or by people I know but performing them myself, no way! I told this dirty little secret to Alex, who is not my usual Silks trainer, and of course she got very excited about having me drop.
We started with a few basics and I was glad seeing Jackie having fun and confidently achieving beautiful shapes wrapped up in the silk. When my time came to drop (an easy beginners drop prep that is), I was very nervous but determined to do it. With a little pep talk from myself and with eyes closed, I did it! And as my trainer always tells me to do, I repeated it straight after. I was proud that I did it and of course filmed it to show my trainer evidence that I had done it. Alex was a big help getting me there, with her exceptional experience and motivation. Two things she said stuck with me: 1) It is not about actually doing it but about trying it. 2) Some people just don’t like drops and don’t do them and thats ok too.
Do I like drops now? No. BUT I am ok with it now and don’t put myself down for it. It’s about having fun and challenging myself. Drops may not be a big part of my silks training right now but maybe this will eventually change.
A big thanks to Alex from CircoBats for creating a fun and challenging session for Jackie and I.
Challenge 3 - CrossFit
When I told my partner in the morning that I am off to CrossFit, he laughed out loud and I am pretty sure he had tears in his eyes from laughter. This pretty much shows how likely I would have been to join a class without this challenge. Anyway, off I went, with a smile on my face ready to give my best.
In typical German manner, I arrived early at CrossFit Zenith and was welcomed with a big warm smile from Nathan. The white board presented our training plan for the next hour. Not knowing what everything on it meant, was probably a good thing. I found our session to be a great mix of disciplines, challenging my strength and cardio. There was also a lot of education involved, which is always a big plus. As with everything, some parts I enjoyed more and some less. Let’s be honest, who likes burpees anyway!? And one thing I learned about myself, I can convincingly smile through hard and painful situations.
Not sure if I’m a crossfit convert, but I’m happy I gave it a try. Nathan created a great environment for someone new to CrossFit. For that little more personalized education and attention, a private session is a great way to start; learning about new movements, your own limitations and getting used to the schedule. Personally and professionally I believe, it would be very well complimented by Yoga and/or Pilates. Stretching and rolling after the session is a must.
I can see why people keep going back to CrossFit Zenith, Nathan creates a welcoming atmosphere in his light filled space.
Challenge 4 - Running
Why is running a challenge in the first place, you might ask? It’s not that I am against running or have not tried it before, I just haven’t enjoyed it enough to make it a lasting habit. I remember when I was a kid, I always loved running around for fun or incorporated in a made up play. What you might not know about me, is that school sport has always been my weakness and I always just rarely passed. Most of my PE teachers just let me be and pass with a “good effort” but the most significant memory was probably the one teacher telling me that I will get a worse grade than one of the other slower students because I was just “pretending”. That was truly the end of my running pursuits, taking away from that, that I just can’t run. Of course it took years for me to realize, that it might have been just my technique and strength holding me back from running well. So yes, to run or even just thinking of taking up running, is a big challenge.
Now with the sweet age of 37, having built up the confidence and knowledge about movement and with Jackie’s moral support, it was a great time to try it again. We met up with Chris from Running Domain to help with my technique and get advice on how to best get started. Of course I had to demonstrate a little run for Chris and Jackie, so we knew what we were dealing with. This put my nerves and anxiety levels up but the little brief about technique which followed was great and put me right at ease. Chris obviously knows what he is talking about and gave me just enough advice and information to leave the session motivated. If you “can’t” run or want to get back into it, I can highly recommend getting started with the help of a running coach and a friend to join.
Big thank you to Chris from Running Domain, it was a great session and I am already trying to clear my calendar and find the best route to run in my area.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
I know it’s hard but that’s exactly why it’s called a ‘comfort zone’. The beauty about your comfort zone is you can come and go as you please,so why not make it a little bigger each time you think about trying something new?…
There are so many options and possibilities out there. Jackie and I tried aerial, crossfit and running. How about juggling, learning a new language, learn to tap dance, performing at an open mic night? Sometimes it makes it easier to do it with a friend. Having someone in the same boat as you and going through the same emotions and giving each other a pep talk and most of all, having someone to laugh with and share the excitement. Having had Jackie by my side made getting out of my comfort zone fun! So, what are you going to try?