No..this isn’t a sequel to Hemingway’s Pulitzer prize winning novella..
It’s a post about stepping outside of your comfort zone..
So tell me..when is the last time you challenged yourself..or did something new just for the sake of it?…when you knew that the only thing you were going to gain was a sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment.. when you knew that there was no monetary reward? ..when you didn’t have to do it as a requirement for some course or job?
If you’re anything like me..it’s been a while. Call me opportunistic, but as I get older I’m finding that I only undertake certain hobbies/challenges/tasks..when they are sure to yield tangible results. I think it’s a combination of maximizing my time and making sure I put forth effort into only the most worthwhile things. Life is short after all..
Let me demonstrate..
The last thing I did to challenge myself (well apart from moving to Beirut) was start this blog. And to be quite honest..if it hadn’t taken off like it has..it probably would’ve died just like my last blog!! (I have no problem walking away from something when it seems like it’s just not working out). But thankfully, knowing that people are reading what I write..and some even taking the time to comment, is what keeps me coming back time and time again.
Where did all of this come from? ..
Well my 50 year old Mom competed in a ocean swim relay race this weekend around the island of Key West, the southernmost point of the continental United States. My Mom and her swim-mates (average age, 48) have been training for months for this event..going to practice 2, sometimes 3 times a week. And all to be able to work towards a challenging goal. (And I suppose as a means to keep in shape..but surely there are easier ways.. right? Hellooo elliptical machine!) I put my mom and her team mates (they called themselves “The Old Women and The Sea” for the Key West race, hence the title of this post) in the same league as people who train for marathons and triathlons.. Writing this reminds me of a fellow blogger Lindsay who ran her first half-marathon, participated in her first triathlon, and ran 75 miles all in the month of May! I don’t know where people get the inspiration, motivation, and energy to train for such things.. But I definitely admire them!
Now,..back to my Mom..I wouldn’t exactly call her a risk taker. She’s very ok with always coloring inside of the lines if you know what I mean. So when I first found out that she was going to participate in an ocean swim AROUND Key West..I was shocked! This was sooo out of character for her! At the time, I was still in Beirut and I hadn’t decided to come back home for the Summer yet..so naturally I was really worried about not being there should anything go wrong. But the tables turned, and I was able to accompany my Mom and her swim-mates while she participated in one of the most adventurous/daring/crazy things she’s ever done in her life.
Spending the weekend with this group of incredibly inspiring women really put things into persepective for me..and made me feel like I need to take a different approach to life. These women are all career woman (or were at some point), have children, and have accomplished a lot in their lives..yet, despite that..they still wanted to challenge themselves..isn’t that just soooo admirable? I mean, they were just BEAMING with pride after completing the 12 mile ocean swim. And I couldn’t help but be so attracted to their energy and their contagious sense of accomplishment. Did I mention these women are at or around 50, and only started their swimming hobby a year and a half ago? yah..just incredible.
So while I think about new ways to challenge myself..I turn the attention to you..when was the last time you challenged yourself to step outside of your comfort zone?