Thursday, January 16, 2014

Comfort zones are for the birds.

How often do you step outside of your comfort zone? To put something really out there? To throw caution to the wind, run at something with full force and see what happens? Right or wrong, failure or success - you just do it.

I was told today that I should try it more. The context was in the realm of sport but why not apply it to life? If you're going to go for something, really go for it - why not let it embody everything you do?

Too often I sit back and calculate what feels right, what feels comfortable. Sure I'm willing to go out on a limb and try things for the first time. I'll face fears and challenge status quo's with the best of them. But after you expose yourself to something new, how often do you push the envelop of that experience? Do you have to continue to remind yourself that you want more? That you're willing to put more of yourself out there? Or does it just come naturally?

It takes a mindful awareness. A conscious decision. A playfulness, a curiosity that goes beyond the "box."

This is going to be my resolve this year. Pushing the envelop. Trying new things. Keeping a beginners mind, and going for it with gusto in spite of failure or success. If you want something, truly want it, you've got to be willing to do what ever it takes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Pain Cave

The Pain Cave - that place you go when you're pushing your body out of its comfort zone. Some people back off as soon as they hit it, some don't.


Athletes face The Pain Cave often. Competitors know it well. The trick is to train your body to endure discomfort, to push beyond what you think are your limits, for a few seconds, minutes, hours or longer. Champions do it all the time.

Take the women's 3k individual pursuit. Seconds after the explosive start, the body starts to scream. Three laps in, the body wants to shut down. But there's 9 laps remaining. Enter the pain cave. An athlete's ability to push through this barrier can set records or not. The queen of the pain cave? Five time World Champion Sarah Hammer.

How can you increase your pain cave threshold?

Practice. Practice. And more practice.

Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Push yourself little by little and increase your tolerance by stepping out of your comfort zone. Be intentional and deliberate with your practice. Play around with things outside of your sport - yoga, hiking, skiing, ice plunges, etc. Reach the spot where the body starts to scream and push, push, push. Tell your body it will get a rest, but you've got work to do first.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Such Great Heights

Transported, once again.

This song catches me between happiness and loss.

It reminds me of an undeniable love, a love we built together.

I'm so thankful I know it, deep in my bones, down to my soul. It taught me how to love.

Ryan touched me. And it aches knowing he's gone.

It's such a special place, the one I'm transported to.

Sad and happy - a different wave of grief as time passes.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Resolutions: Love 'em or Leave 'em.


1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
2. A resolving to do something.
3. A course of action determined or decided on.

It's my favorite time of year, as far as resolutions go. I've asked everyone I bump into at one point or another, "so, what are YOUR resolutions?"

And I usually get the following response: 

Resolutions are lame. I don't believe in deciding to change something about myself during the first of the year simply because society says I should. If I'm going to do something, I'm just going to do it.

That is, until I admit what my resolutions are. I'm not afraid to say what I want to improve and grow upon. I want to hike the incline and do yoga weekly, I want to hand write letters to my friends (old school!), I want to detox and eat mindfully. I want to reflect on the previous year and say, hot damn! That was one for the books! 

How can I do it better?

Reflection is a great chance to say YES to growth. How do I want to improve what I'm doing? What do I want to celebrate? What do I want to look back on a year from now and soak in the lessons learned, the laughter shared, the moments of triumph and failure?

We get one chance on this planet and I resolve to make the most of it. You should too.