Fit Friday – Be Uncomfortable

Be Uncomfortable

When I first started exercising and focusing on getting myself healthy, I wrote one of my first Fit Friday posts about setting goals.  My goal was to run a 5K.  That seemed pretty much impossible to me because I had never been the athletic type.  I was a cheerleader, which took a lot of stamina and flexibility, but that was the extent of my athleticism.  I knew nothing about how to exercise, nothing about strength training, and nothing really about fitness of any kind.  What I did know, though, was that I absolutely hated running.

The 5K was my goal because I knew it would be difficult to reach, which meant I would feel a large sense of accomplishment if I was ever able to do it.  The competitive side of me came out because each time I ran I was in a fierce competition.  My competitor – myself.  I had to compete with my thoughts telling me I couldn’t do it, and I had to compete with my body telling me it didn’t like running and was sore and tired.  I had to compete with my own time and distance and was determined to reach or beat one or both each try.  I was motivated, and I reached my goal within a few short months of setting it.

I still hate running, but I do it every so often just to compete with myself.  I have run several 5K races, and I plan to run another one in the fall (when it’s cooler because I don’t play around with Texas heat).

Tip of the Week

Be uncomfortable.   None of us like to be uncomfortable.  We like to stay within the walls of our comfort zone.  I’ve written often about stepping outside of your comfort zone because outside of those walls is where greatness happens.  Don’t be afraid to step outside.

Each time you reach a goal, set a new one, and try something that makes you uncomfortable.  Tomorrow I’m doing something that is so far out of my realm of comfort that I can’t allow myself to stop and think about it because if I do, I will find a reason not to go through with it.

Everyone’s level of comfort is different, so what is uncomfortable for me may not seem like a big deal at all to you and vice versa.  See, I am the nerdy student, so to speak.  I have always been one who has very high test anxiety, and I’m a horrible test taker because I overanalyze and second guess myself, so I have always had to know exactly what would be on the test.  If I didn’t know, I memorized my notes verbatim beginning to end.  I didn’t care how long it took me, I had every word memorized.  The problem was that I didn’t know answers when they were asked differently on the test than how it was worded in my notes.  I don’t recommend studying this way for this very reason.

So, here I am, only a little more than 1 month into Krav Maga training, and I’m going to take my first belt test tomorrow.  I keep hearing how the first test is “a breeze,” but for me there has never been a test that was a breeze.  I don’t know what all I will be tested over because when I ask, the response is always that it will be what I’ve learned in class and that I don’t need to worry about it.  However, my mind starts questioning, “What if there are things I haven’t learned since I haven’t been there quite as long as the others who are testing?”  Then I think about all the techniques I still don’t have down as good as I should, and I don’t usually react as quickly as I should . . .  and then I panic.

*Breathe*

It is for this reason that I do not allow myself to sit and think about it.  I am going in tomorrow with a goal of finishing the test and doing well even though I do not know what I will be tested over and even though I know I will not have everything down perfectly.

This is a first for me – a big step.  When I complete testing tomorrow, I will not have only tested for my first belt, but I will be leaving with an even bigger accomplishment.  I will have allowed myself to be uncomfortable and imperfect in order to reach a goal.  Will I get my yellow belt?  I won’t know until tomorrow, but the fact is that I’m trying.

In 35 years, I have never done that.  I may have been nervous about doing something, but I did it with confidence that I knew exactly what I was doing and had practiced it over and again until I could do/say/perform it perfectly at least 3 times in a row.  Yes, that is me.  I put so much pressure on myself that I do things like this . . . all because of lack of confidence in myself.

Be Confident

Whatever you set your mind to do, do it with confidence.  If you mess up in the process, hold on to that confidence understanding that there is not a soul in this world that does anything perfectly.  The mistakes we make should not hinder our confidence in who we are and what we’re capable of doing.  Instead, they should help us push harder and do even better the next time.

Set a goal.  Be uncomfortable.  Most of all, be confident.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

This is my command—be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid or discouraged.
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.
Psalm 27:3

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.”
Matthew 6:34

I Surprised Even Myself Today. . .

First Step is the Hardest

 

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-30

 

Today began with several firsts for me.  I fell into a rut a little more than a year ago, and my motivation to eat right and stay active kind of went down the drain.  This week I’ve been working on my motivation.  The past two days, though, I did nothing to stay active.  I was so tired that I just came home and did the absolute necessities and then crashed.

My goal was to sleep in today since it’s something I just don’t get to do.  I woke up a little before 8 and felt rested and refreshed even though I didn’t get to sleep until around 1:30 AM.  Yes that is sleeping in for me.

The first thing I did that surprised even me was that I didn’t sit in bed and turn the tv on.  I got up. . . and. . . I ran!  I know some of you enjoy it.  I know some of you are eager to do it and may even get in a bad mood if you miss a day of it.  But for me, I absolutely hate running.  It’s not fun, and I can’t figure out how to breathe, and my head feels like it’s going to explode, and I just don’t like it.  However, I can feel that it works every part of my body, and I’m able to set goals for myself, and it’s actually the one and only type of exercise I do that makes me  feel like I’ve accomplished something every time I do it.

My goal is always 3  miles, and I compete against myself – the shortest time I’ve run it before.  I haven’t run since 1 time in January, and that was the first time I ran since February LAST year!  My goal was just not to go over my longest time.  🙂

At a half mile, I almost gave up because for the first time ever in my exercising life, I was about to vomit.  Too hot? I don’t know.  Heart rate too high? I don’t know.  I decided to walk and if it was going to happen it was going to happen, but I was going to keep going anyway.

WHAT?!?!  Let me just say, if you know me at any capacity, you know I’m a complainer when I’m not comfortable.  The fact that I changed my thinking from I’m stopping 5 minutes in because I’m about to be sick to I’m going to be sick right here in the bushes, and then I’m going to keep going is just not normal for me.

Luckily I hadn’t eaten yet, so I was able to control it and didn’t physically get sick.  I picked up my pace and started running again.  I did have a moment around 1.5 miles where I started feeling it again, but I pushed through.  However, I was ready to stop when I hit 2 miles, but I still hadn’t made it back home.  My new goal was 2.5 miles and then jump in the pool fully clothed because it was too darn hot.

I hit 2.5 miles, but I was at 33 minutes. I don’t know if it’s my OCD, and 33 minutes didn’t work for me, or if it was my competitive nature, but something sent an extra burst of determination through me.  I knew when I ran my very first 5K several years ago, I hit 37 minutes.  I told myself it’s just a half a mile more, and surely I could do that in under 40 minutes.  I would not hit 40 minutes.  I ran as fast as my hurting, tired legs would allow me, and then I just knew it.  I knew I was going to finally be sick, but I would not stop before reaching 3 miles, and I would not hit the 40 minute mark.  I’ve never taken 40 minutes, and I wasn’t about to start now.  I was at 2.95 miles and somewhere above 38 minutes.  My eyes watered down my cheeks from controlling my stomach, but I reached 3 miles, and I did it under 40 minutes!

Oh, and I did not get sick!  Yes, this was my slowest time by far, and honestly I’m kicking myself for not going ahead and running the next 10th of a mile to hit the 5K, but I’m so proud of myself for pushing so hard and accomplishing what I originally wanted to accomplish in the first place.  I didn’t do it for anyone.  I didn’t do it for a race.  I did it for me.  I prayed.  I know it sounds crazy, but I prayed at the half mile when I felt sick, and I prayed at that 2.5 mile and again when I was so close to 3 miles but didn’t know if I could do it.

God did not have to allow me to finish what I had set in my head to do, but he did.  God doesn’t want us to just come to him when we need something, and he doesn’t want us to just talk to him about “serious matters.”  God wants to be our friend.  I told him what my goal was.  I talked to him about wanting to stop when I felt sick and again when my lungs hurt and again when my legs were tired.  He didn’t let me quit.  Instead, he told me, “No.  You’re not stopping when you just started.  You can do this.  Keep going.  You can do it!”  And I did.  He told me at 2.5 miles, “It’s just a half mile more.  You have 7 minutes, you can do it!”

Understand that God cares about the little things and wants you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.  It doesn’t necessarily have to mean in an exercise but in life.  Push yourself.  Talk to him.  Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).  That doesn’t mean you have to do everything right and perfect in order to “delight” yourself in him.  It means spend time with him, talk to him, love on him, and let him love on you.  Just like when you spend time with your friends, even when you two are doing nothing, that’s what God wants.  You enjoy spending time with friends; that’s delight, and spending time with God brings him delight.

You aren’t going to get everything you ask for, but God will do simple little things for you to show you he loves that you’ve been spending time with him.  Talk to him about the desires of your heart.  See what he does for you.  See if you might surprise yourself today.