Amazing things happen outside your comfort zone....

 

We’ve heard that before, you've seen it on an inspirational poster, some version of the phrase on a t-shirt, or from the mouth of a trainer trying to push you in your latest workout.  Like it or not, simply put, ITS THE TRUTH!

When I first got into fitness, I quickly found myself being the king of cardio, I would jog, elliptical, climb stairs, and take countless spin classes in order to get my calorie burn on.  I found a great endorphin rush (often called “runner’s high”) in doing sweat soaked cardio sessions on a daily basis.  After a while, I started to notice that I was putting in so much time at the gym and yet my body had seemingly stopped changing.  I knew I had to change something up...

Being overweight and one of the few gay members of the student body population, I suffered through my fair share of ridicule growing up.  This led to somewhat of a complex which caused me to shy away from pushing myself to try and experiment with weight training. I didn’t want to venture into this foreign area of the gym for fear that a contemporary might see me and make me doubt myself and challenge my sense of self-worth. 

Frustrated and feeling low, I sought out the help of a personal trainer who taught me the basics of weight lifting.  With my trainer I felt safe from the muscle-bound guys throwing dumbells around like paperweights.  In this space I felt like I was enough, I was able to do anything I set my mind to and I would get the results I so very much wanted.  It was here that I found a strong sense of self and was able to finally break through my self-created glass ceiling also known as my comfort zone.  I began to lift on my own and actually feel good about my progressive increase in strength and noticeable muscle defintion. 

With renewed self-esteem I also ventured into the world of yoga.   A guy who can barely stand on his left foot for more than a second wanted to try yoga.  Through the supportive and challenging instructors I continue to becoming stronger in my practice each time I step onto my mat. My once scary thought about yoga actually has become one of the things I look forward to most in every day, helping to build strength and flexibility of the physical body while quieting the mind and creating space for possibility.   I am, however, still working on that handstand.

Outside your comfort zone can be a scary place, but also one of the most empowering places you can take yourself. Here you forge new ground and embrace your true inner strength.  Pushing yourself past the limits of what you thought possible and realizing that you can do things you never thought possible is one of the best feelings in the world.