Boy, do I hate when Mark is right. But about 10 minutes after listening to our motivational pre-run speech this past Sunday as we chugged along mile one, he called me on it. “You are definitely going to right a Facebook post on that.” He had me. I already had it planned.
But this speech was pivotal. It was pertinent. Meaningful. Inspiring. I loved it. The Tough Mudder veteran was getting us pumped up for the crazy 10+ mile obstacle course run through the steep hills and terrain we were about to undertake. I was feeling the nervous, excited anticipation. First-timers. And this energetic, experienced, funny and genuine man was talking about the experience and the camaraderie we would encounter. Just awesome.
The phrase that he used that jumped out at me the most:
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME?
When we are younger, this happens naturally without much effort. We have boxes for the boys filled with memorabilia of their firsts already.
But as we age, we tend to shy away from trying new things. Staying in our habits and routines. Our comfort zones. Ordering the same thing at restaurants. Traveling to the same place. Taking the same walk on the same route at the same pace. Sometimes feeling content. Sometimes feeling stagnant. Unchallenged. Unmotivated. Unsettled. Longing.
The Tough Mudder was my idea, but boy did it scare the hell out of me. I questioned my ability to do it many, many times. Even during it.
However, the experience was beyond a race. It was mental and physical. It was a test of doing what you thought your couldn’t do. It was a life experience.
There was something absolutely exhilarating completing each obstacle and mile. Feeling fear. Adrenline racing through my body. Trying to focus on the next move or task. Breathing. Relying on my teammates for help and encouragement. Standing 20 feet over a pool of murky water, having to jump to a T bar and swing out to the unknown. I hate heights. Accomplishing monkey bars I had never been able to do in the past. Sprinting up a warped wall lunging towards outreached hands. Feeling electric currents spark against my chest. Who the hell was I???
It was freeing to let go of past limiting beliefs. I felt alive and present. Proud and happy. It was a cross between elation and exhaustion when we crossed the finish line…
And I would do it again in a heart beat. Bring it, 2017!
Now, it doesn’t have to be a Tough Mudder in your world. But what is your “first” this month? What new food? New recipe? New fitness class or routine? What can you do to get out of a rut…challenge your thinking? Challenge your physical abilities?
Find one new thing to try each week this month and feel empowered by your courage. A little “shock” to the system to reinvigorate this fall season!