I have figured out that I really like training when it’s cold outside. This heat is a lot more of a deterrent to me running than I expected. I’m still getting out and doing runs, but the distance and intensity is definitely changing. The other thing that needs to change is the number of morning runs I’m doing. Morning run are your greatest ally in battling motivation on these really hot summer days.
This morning as I was driving to work it was 68°. That is hotter than I would like, but not nearly as bad as the 90° I did my run in yesterday afternoon. Now to be totally honest I did that run in the hot part of the day by choice to see how my body would respond. My goals was to wear myself down on a bike ride to Whitehall Park and then see how my legs would feel doing a run in the heat. In case you are curious they felt like crap, but that’s OK. This was new stuff to my body. The heat is new and the bike before a run is new.
I am pushing my body out of its comfort zone so that I can do things better than I have in the past. Running at 90° is definitely out of my comfort zone. Running on wobbly legs is out of my comfort zone. If I do both of these things frequently they will become less of a deterrent. My next challenge is to do the Wildcat Mountain Challenge. This will be a entire new experience for me. It involves kayaking, biking and trail running. I have never kayaked, I have never rode a bike in a competitive environment, and I have never done a trail race. So that is 3 for 3 in new challenges to get me out of my comfort zone.
I firmly believe, and will talk non-stop about, the fact that as a culture we are way to worried about our own comfort. No one has ever been promised a life that would be easy. It can’t be, there is way too much evil in the world for life to be easy. Your comfort will keep you at the place in life that you are right now. Even if the place you are at right now isn’t a horrible place I pray that you realize it can be even better. Continual, gradual growth should be your goal. Grow into whatever it is that you want to be someday. It doesn’t have to be a fireman or ballerina like you dreamed of as a kid, but maybe a better husband or wife. Or maybe it is a better employee or employer.
Pushing ourselves to get better seems to come natural to competitive people, but sometimes that only translates in our brains to physical activities. I hope that this will remind you that not only can you become a better athlete by getting out of your comfort zone, but you can become a better person by doing the same.