Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
By Erin Bramble
I will be the first to admit that I’m not great at stepping out of my comfort zone. I tend to order the same meal at the same restaurant, go to the same stores, and enjoy following routine. Maybe this habit is genetic (thanks mom), but it is something I have become increasingly aware of over the past year. While I don’t know that anyone is great at this daunting task, I have recently tried to force myself to do more outside of my comfort zone.
April 20, 2019 was one of the biggest steps I took in this mission. About 8 months prior, one of my good friends had texted me about running the Drake Relays Half Marathon with her. I have been an athlete my whole life, but never a runner. So, when my friend texted me this, my immediate response was “no.” After some thinking, and a lot of persuasion from her, I signed up to run my first half marathon. Here are a few things I learned from taking this big step outside my comfort zone:
- Trying new things can help you find something new that you love
Some people run their first half marathon (or any race really) and “catch the bug.” They try something new and find that they enjoyed it and keep doing it. For me, that was not the case with my half marathon. I was happy that I did it, but still won’t ever consider myself a runner. Although I won’t be signing up for more races any time soon, I did learn that I enjoy different kinds of cardio workouts. Due to being a collegiate thrower, most of my workouts were spent in the weight room, but when training for my half marathon, I had to add more cardio workouts into the mix. I found a variety of new workouts while training that probably wouldn’t have done if it weren’t for signing up for the half marathon.
- You learn that you can do more than you think
Life is complicated and often comes with many bumps in the road and unpredictability. Sometimes, these conflicts that arise seem insurmountable. However, having experience with being outside your comfort zone can help you realize that you can do a lot more than you think you can. Right after I signed up for my half marathon, I had doubts that I wouldn’t be able to do it. After finishing the race, I realized that I could do a lot more than I had once thought I couldn’t do. While my conflict might not always be running 13.1 miles, having this confidence and persistence proves that I can do much more than I had once expected.
- Meet new people and grow relationships
Like I said earlier, the reason I decided to run a half marathon was because of a friend of mine. She had been working up to it by running 5ks for about a year, but didn’t want to 13.1 miles alone. Not only did she and I spend more time together during our training before hand, but also met multiple other people while training and running the half marathon. Working towards a common goal not only grew my relationship with my friend, but also allowed me to connect with many others also outside of their comfort zone.
While a half marathon was that big step out of my comfort zone, it might not be for you. I challenge you to find something new to put you outside of your comfort zone and hopefully you can learn some of the new things that I did.
Erin Bramble | Marketing Coordinator and Graphic Designer