How was your summer? Did you try anything new?
Most of us are pretty happy doing familiar things, stuff we do well, that we’ve adapted to either because we’ve been doing it a long time, or we’ve had some training. There’s less risk of failure – less fear of injury, and less embarrassment.
It’s fine to be comfortable with an exercise or activity you know how to do. You can scale that familiar thing if you want, by adding to the duration of time, intensity in rowing, add repetitions or weight to exercises, or in cycling, do longer rides with hills. It’s great to do things you enjoy and feel successful at.
How about trying something you never thought you could do?
What’s the upside of trying unfamiliar things? You might get stronger and fitter, but even better, you might find that you love doing this new thing. You’ll gain confidence as you keep working on it. And…
You’ll feel like a badass.
You can challenge yourself by expanding on something you already do well, or go waaay beyond what you thought you’d do.
That was for sure when at the end of my first century, a 100 mile bike ride, totally by accident, after being stuck on a course with no idea where I was. At the finish it was the baddest assed feeling ever. A few years earlier I had been encouraged to race my bike, which I thought was about the craziest thing I could do at age 54. It took a ton of training, was scary and hard, and way badass enough for sure. But that century was really challenging mentally and physically, and a good thing I didn’t plan it – I would not have done it at all. I didn’t know I had the strength or stamina, and it felt wonderful.
Want to challenge yourself?
Weirdly, now that I’m much older, I try more unfamiliar, way-out-of-my comfort-zone things. Powerlifting was entirely that – right before the pandemic I was encouraged to compete. I trained smart, but was nervous beyond description, and It blew my mind that I won. It surprised me even more that I loved it.
Have any activities taken you out of your comfort zone and then you loved them?
What makes you feel like a badass?
Let me know!