Saturday, May 4, 2013

Comfort Zone

This is a sign hanging on my daughter's wall.  I love it.  Every time I want to give up on anything, I think of this sign and ask myself if I'm at the end of my comfort zone yet.

Two years ago, we were very surprised when our daughter came home from school and told us she had signed up to be on the cross country team.  She had never shown any interest in running.  I pointed out that the meets were 5K.  She still wanted to do it.

During the summer they had practice 2 times a week and then she had to train on her own the other days.  She was already starting behind the rest of the team since she had never done this before so I decided to run with her to help her train.  While she had never shown interest in running, I had shown outright disdain for it!  Even back in high school, I couldn't make it once around the track without stopping.  The fact that I was even considering running proves that I would do anything for her!

I went online and found a program called "Couch to 5K".  It started with running for one minute and then walking for 90 seconds.  You repeat this for 20 minutes.  That didn't sound too bad - until I started running.  I survived the first minute but by the second one I could barely breathe.  Somehow I made it though the first day but it was so difficult.  Then I went home and collapsed on the couch.  I'm sure my daughter felt pretty good about her running after watching me!

I stuck with it for her.  If it had just been me, I would have stopped after the first day.  During the third week, the running stretches to 3 minutes.  I didn't think I could do it.  We had been running at a school track but on this day we decided to go to the park.  When I finished the first 3 minutes, I couldn't wait to tell everyone!  From then on, I was hooked.  I had become a runner and I was doing it for myself


Running is still hard.  But I do it and I love it.  Some days I can barely run 5 minutes without walking but I just push through it and remind myself that I'm not to the edge of my comfort zone yet.  Then I have days like today.

This morning I started with 1 hour 15 minutes of yoga.  This was a longer and more challenging routine for me.  Just that would have made me feel good.  Half way through the yoga, I decided that I would also run a mile.  I ended up running 20 minutes 30 seconds without walking and reached the 2 mile mark at 23:50.  But I kept going.  I ended up going 3.13 miles in 40:11.  My normal run/walk is only 30 minutes and 2.5 miles.  Then, just to prove I could, I did a plank for 42 seconds!

I never thought I could do a work out like that, but I did.  And it made me feel alive.