I was thinking today about how we are trying teach my 9 year old son to embrace challenges, rather than avoid them. He is starting baseball season, and this year it's kid pitch, with three strikes, three outs, sliding and stealing. It's much different from what he's used to. He's being pushed out of his comfort zone into unknown territory, and it's HARD.
We are trying to explain to him how challenges are good for him, and that the way to learn is to practice the fundamentals so that when game time comes, he will have enough confidence to play. To do the hard things.
That is why I'm doing the marathon. To move to the next challenge. I'm also out of my comfort zone by training with a group. I'm typically a solitary runner; give me some tunes, or the birds chirping at the sunrise, and the road ahead, and I'm in heaven. Running with a group has its own challenges, especially for an introvert like me.
I think that's why, today, when we did six miles, I was tired. Really tired. I'm not usually so tired after only six miles. But not only was I concentrating on my pace, I was trying to make conversation. For me, that's the exhausting part! Nevertheless, I feel that it is important to bond with the group so that when the marathon comes, we will all be able to support each other all the way across the finish line.
I encourage everyone to try to push themselves out of their comfort zone. Even if it is a small step, you will feel stronger for having attempted it. And if you need others around you to help you get there, don't hesitate to ask! Likely they want to do it, too.