Comfort zones. Ah! The humble abode for many such as myself, a place to reside with a guarantee of very little interruption, inadvertently guaranteeing very little growth. For the longest time, my personal comfort zone has been exactly that, a zone where I found most of my comfort from, and upon having stumbled upon one of the most challenging years (in both good ways and bad), I too found myself having fallen so far from the path that always led me back to my little home.
I came to this realization of my divergence from the road I travel the most, when I decided to train at the running track at my University. With the nighttime looming, stadium lights blaring and very few athletes around, I found myself almost too comfortable when a lad (whose name I forgot, or never actually got) came to ask me if I would care to sprint against him. Somehow, somewhere between his explanations that he is injured, thus not as fast as usual, and amidst many thoughts running through my head convincing me to NOT entertain this idea, I succumbed to the request and decided to sprint my best. With a bit of zest, and a whole lot of effort, I managed to keep up with him during the first sprint, HOWEVER, I saw nothing less than a flame so intense that it could burn your eyebrows off when we sprinted against one another for a second round.
The lad did to me, what Usain Bolt does to almost all of his hopeful opponents, and although I found myself choking on the dust I had bitten, I found myself more glad that I did what I ordinarily wouldn’t dare to do. I had gone to the running track with intentions of running long hauls, only to find myself running against an injured Olympian (he wasn’t an Olympian, but the lad could be!). If I take the time to think of all that I aspire to be, despite the uncertainty of how I’ll actually be it, I can say with unwavering conviction that I won’t be anymore than what I currently am now if I don’t venture beyond the comfort zone which is more often than not, paved with intentions to leave it, and simultaneously, painted with a desire to acquire validation before actually leaving it.
A very wise woman by the name of Lucinda Dooley recently said in a rather cool sermon that she couldn’t remember the last time she was actually comfortable in life, and soon after reinstated the fact that she didn’t actually want to be very comfortable, because that ultimately would equate to stagnancy. Stagnancy in running, in one’s career or any personal aspect in life, might be one of the most promising life-sucking agents that threaten everyone at one stage or another, mainly promising because it’s a decepta-con (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a serious way), promising very little struggle and very little movement beyond one’s current stance.
I’ve been running for a few years now, and I’ve only recently started to challenge my own personally architected barriers that have inadvertently encased me into a comfort zone. I ain’t no Usain Bolt, ain’t no marathon winner or anything of that sort, but if there’s one thing that I can thank that super fast lad who challenged me to something I ordinarily would never do, is for the invitation to venture past my comfort zone, only to find that what lies beyond it is not that bad after all. I could barely walk the next day or the day after for that matter, but I could gladly say that my desire to venture back into my comfort zone was not nearly as great as my desire to see what else I could do in my marathon journey, and other aspects in life.
Hope you have an amazing week, and a little inspiration to leave your comfort zone