Monday, June 17, 2013

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Somewhat going along with Monday's post is the idea of getting out of your comfort zone. I like to be comfortable, as I'm sure most people do. Trying new things stresses me out and for the most part I would rather just stick to my habits and continue on my way. I've been trying to change this way of thinking because I don't want to miss out on opportunities because I was afraid to get a little uncomfortable.

I have a vocal cord disorder that when I start getting really stressed or anxious my vocal cords close up, making it sometimes impossible to breathe. I have learned the signs and can identify when this is starting to happen so I can hopefully make some adjustments. The worst thing about having this disorder was for years when I would start feeling my vocal cords closing up and my breathing becoming labored I would freak out even more, which only made things worse. It was a vicious cycle that for the most part I know how to control.

It was for a short time but I never thought I would see that pace

The first few times I went out biking this year I could feel my vocal cords closing as soon as I would start riding. I was way more nervous that I had any right to be. Once I got out on the road I quickly realized how much fun riding is. I have since had the very-obvious-to-everyone-else-bu- no- to-me epiphany that the only way to get more comfortable riding is to ride more. Duh!

This past Sunday I went on a group ride that previewed the course for an upcoming triathlon I'm doing. A few miles into the ride I noticed how much my mental game has changed when it comes to riding. I used to be terrified of riding with a group but yet here I was with 14 other riders climbing hills I always thought were too big for me. Instead of being nervous about the ride I was excited to be trying something new.

I might not be the best cyclist (trust me, I'm far from it) but the more I ride the more I'm improving. The funny thing, to me at least, is that last summer I would try to plan routes based on the hills. This summer I'm doing the same thing except instead of trying to ride as few hills as possible I'm constantly trying to challenge myself and find a bigger or steeper hill to climb.

I've quickly come to the conclusion that the things we fear the most and are so afraid to try are often the things that turn out to be the most rewarding.


  1. Great job doing the group ride, and pushing yourself. The more you do something the better you get, simple fact. My cycling has taken huge leaps this year alone, by tackling hills, taking spin classes, and just doing it even when I don't want to!

  2. Love that last line! So true! You are definitely improving...especially if you seek out hills :)

  3. It's always good to challenge yourself. Way to go on conquering the things that give you anxiety and improving every day!