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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Out of My Comfort Zone

This whole experience writing Me & Jorge and the opportunities it has brought me are mostly all out of my comfort zone. I've done, said and written things during this time that I never would have been comfortable with before. Sure, I want to help inform other dieters about a program I really believe in. But it is hard to put yourself out there, open to criticism and critique. I'm pretty shy, but when I'm passionate about something I get really excited and forget about all that.

I just signed up to run something called The Relay, and it is really putting me out of my comfort zone. A team of 12 women will run the coast of California from Calistoga to Santa Cruz in the course of 2 days. You take 3 turns in 8 mile sections and run through the night on an open course. There are no water or aid stations, no blocked off roads. Just you in a reflective vest running until you meet up with your support van and trade with another runner! Oh my gosh, I don't how I am going to do this. I can run 8 miles, pretty slow but I can do it. But then to do it again and again, part of it in the middle of the night after sleeping in a van! I signed up as a challenge and an opportunity to get to know the other women better. At the time I thought I just has to run one leg, and everytime I talk to someone who has done it I hear another agonizing detail. The Husband says I should drop out now, but I'm sticking it out.

I'm getting my kids in on the action too! They have become major little homebodies, thanks to our reduced budget constraints caused by moving to California. Everything here costs an arm, and a leg, more than it did in Colorado. So instead of just signing them up for sports and after school programs, I make sure they REALLY want to do it. The end results is that they don't do as much in the way of organized programs. But for Spring I wanted to change that. First I signed them up for a chess class. My 9 year old has always been pretty good at chess for age, but in classes they put him with older kids and he struggles with that. The chess program for the 6 year old is really fun, with a fun teacher. But big brother doesn't want to go, little brother doesn't want to go. The first day of class I explained they were very hesitant to the instructor, could I maybe get my money back if they hated it. But when I turned around my boys were both looked giddy excitement waiting for class to start. This morning I reminded them that they were to go to chess directly after school and got a "Yea Chess Day!" from the little one.

So I decided to push them a little further. My youngest needs to move more, he has pent up energy that comes out at bedtime and he starts doing flips on his bed or rolling down the hall. My older one, is calmer and quiet, likes to read. He gets embarrassed easily. So I signed them up for Judo Jujitsu. We talked about it and chose from other martial arts programs because it seemed the most useful in real life. But NOTHING prepared us when we walked into class and saw a dozen huge kids full on wrestling, grappling, and basically fighting. I was shocked! My older son's jaw dropped and he got pale, poor thing. But I think it is just what they both needed. The kids were all so nice, and even while "fighting". I talked to teacher and he assured me it was all controlled fighting and they should not get hurt. I think I am going to either A.) really regret this or B.) be forever glad we did this.

I think when we step out of our comfort zone we learn something really useful. Not just a new skill, but something about ourselves and what we are capable of. Have you done something completely out of comfort zone that changed your life?

I might feel different about all this after The Relay, I'll let you know oon May 2nd!


  1. Wow Amber, that takes a lot of ambition to do a race like that. I don't think I cold ever do that, but I know that you can.
    re:the kids, I think it will be very good for them to take that class. It will teach them discipline and self confidence. They are very luck to have that opportunity.
    Have a great day :-)

  2. Amber this is a great blog and I know exactly what you mean, I'm like allergic to pushing myself out of my comfort zone that's why my blogging is so inconsistent. Thanks for sharing your story! :)

  3. WOW!!! Good for you for signing up to do that race! I am so jealous because I would do anything to become a runner but I have horrible achilles tendonitis in both heels and it is impossible to run, let alone walk right most days. Every step is painful and I limp every day. You just go for it girl!! I love your conviction to doing this and you are 100% correct in leaving our comfort zones. IF you stay in your comfort zone, you will never grow but its when you step outside the box, that great things happen!!!
    Hope your boys like their new activities.
    Thanks for always giving us a good read.

  4. All I can say is "WOW" What a big accomplishment entering this race. I know I couldn't do it, I am really bad at running. I think its my weight, but I do remember I have always had trouble running when I was younger and skinny too. Something about my knees feeling like they snap. Its a weird feeling. But you are doing sooooo amazing AMber!!

  5. Amber, from everything I have seen on your blog, you are an incredibly committed person and once you have committed, neither hell nor high water will keep you from your (self)appointed task. Have a wonderful Relay! My personal comfort zone is so small my rather large behind has a hard time fitting in it, so I may try to expand its boundaries as well....thanks for the motivation.

  6. I am really nervous about this race, but it is a good personal goal. My sister and husband have both told me to drop out!

    For all of you who said they cant run, please know that is EXACTLY how I felt 18 months ago. I think I started running a year ago, so it has really taken me awhile to get here. There are tons of runners on the trails I use, but noticeably there is hardly anyone overweight. When I do see someone that isnt runner thin I want to high-five them!

  7. That's such a pretty area to run in, and you'll have tons of fun. Runners are always a supportive group of people, and when you are out there, you will feel like you can run for days. Enjoy it while your young Amber because now you have the opportunities to stretch, and you can run! Our son grew up in Martial Arts, and his instructors always were positive role models. It gave him so many life skills, and not only physical skill, but a mental skill where he learned how to instruct other kids, impressed parents, and has a humble confidence that a lot of kids don't have these days. Baseball, and Football were not his thing, and it's good to recognize what the individual needs of your boys are. Great job Mom!

  8. Welcome to California. If you're in So Cal and you like running try the San Diego Triple Crown. It's 3 half marathons in a year. January in Carlsbad, April in La Jolla, August in Downtown SD. I did it about 3 years ago and it was really fun. :)