Pushing The Limits

fitness, exercise, running, knowing your limits, challenging yourself, humor, Modern PhilosopherMy comfort zone is far too small and enticing, Modern Philosophers, so it is very difficult for me to venture outside of it.

Because of this, my life achievements have been very limited.  I’m sure it’s a major contributing factor to my being perpetually single, and why I’ve never been able to get my writing career to take off.

I don’t like change.  I hate taking risks.

The fear of failure and rejection paralyzes me.

I’ve been trying to address this shortcoming in baby steps.  Well, it’s literally been more like long, awkward strides, but figuratively speaking, I have been taking baby steps.

I’m not quite ready to try my hand at being an extremely confident ladies’ man, nor am I ready to quit my job and throw all my time and effort into writing full time.

What I am willing to do, however, is push my limits when it comes to my new fitness program.  I have lost 18 lbs since April 1, and there’s no way I would have made such progress if I had taken the usual slow and steady approach that has long been a staple of my comfort zone.

I usually take my time stepping up my running program, making sure I can run a certain distance in a certain time before increasing how far I will go.  I’ve always said I did this to protect myself from injury, but now I realize I was severely limiting myself.

In the past, I’ve been a slave to the stopwatch, but now I’m all about counting steps and earning active minutes on my fitness tracker.  So now, I just go out and see how far I can push myself every time I put on my running shoes.

I’ve already done several runs over five miles in the last month, after never doing a five miler at all last year.  Miraculously, I haven’t gotten hurt.  Life outside the comfort zone isn’t as scary as I imagined!

This morning, I had absolutely no interest in running when I got out of bed.  I’d had a long week, my body was sore, and it was pouring rain.  Rather than just giving up on my morning activity, however, I convinced myself to do three miles.

fitness, exercise, running, knowing your limits, challenging yourself, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe rain picked up substantially before I’d even completed a mile, and I was completely soaked, but I didn’t let it bother me.  I just kept thinking about how I wanted to get on the scale tomorrow and discover that I’d lost 20 lbs.

So I kept going.  It was only water after all, and I had all weekend to dry off and rest my aching muscles.

Three miles became four and a half before I’d even realized it.  I had 10,000 steps on my tracker by the time I went back into The House on the Hill to take a much needed hot shower.

The pushing of limits hasn’t been limited to my running, either.  It has also carried over into my diet.  I managed to go over a month without having a sweet, unhealthy dessert.

And even when I broke that streak after my coworker surprised me with a chocolate frosty the other day, I enjoyed the treat on my lunch break as I walked laps around the building and collected another 2,000 steps.

I love my sweets, as evidenced by the enormous belly I crafted over the winter.  So it’s really been a challenge to leave those behind.  I also enjoy snacking during the work day, but I’ve pushed myself to cut back on that severely.

Let’s not forget that life has been stressful over the past month.  Comfort zone rules dictate that I turn to comfort foods to help me through difficult times.  I’m pushing my limits on that rule, too, and turning to exercise rather than to whoopie pies.

Sure, a four mile run isn’t as delicious as chocolaty goodness, but I’ve come to accept that in the barren wasteland outside of my comfort zone, desserts simply don’t exist.  I miss my sweets, but I much prefer seeing the smaller numbers on the scale.

fitness, exercise, running, knowing your limits, challenging yourself, humor, Modern PhilosopherWho knows?  If this weight loss thing keeps being such a success, maybe it will inspire me to venture outside of my comfort zone when it comes to relationships and writing.

But that’s a little further down the road, Modern Philosophers.  Of course, since I’m pushing myself to run further, it only seems logical that I’ll make it down that road much sooner than expected.

For the time being, though, I will enjoy my progress and rest up for tomorrow’s run.

After that last sentence, I thought this blog post was done and that I was finished with my exercise for the day.  However, my legs still felt like they had some life in them, so I thought I’d push myself a little further.

I’m just back from a quick walk around the neighborhood and adding another 1,500 steps to my total.  I’m now over 23,000 for the day.  Never stop pushing those limits!

You might not want to follow me on a run, but how about following me on my blog and on Pinterest?  Enjoy all the laughs without the sweat!

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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19 Responses to Pushing The Limits

  1. Jo (Fallen Angel) says:

    I’m all for trying to push past my fears and do things I’m not necessarily comfortable with, although I’m not someone to throw myself in all at once. I think taking things one step at a time is just as valid as those who might throw their whole self in. We all approach things differently 🙂

    “I’m not quite ready to try my hand at being an extremely confident ladies’ man, nor am I ready to quit my job and throw all my time and effort into writing full time.”

    I don’t think you necessarily have to change who you are or go all out and quit your job. If you’re not confident around ladies then that doesn’t mean that you have to try and change to uber confident into order to take risks. Be yourself! As for your job, could you consider reducing your hours a bit to spend more time on your writing? So, dip your toe in gradually rather than throwing yourself into the ocean all at once?

  2. The Hook says:

    If you feel especially energetic, Austin, you can come to Niagara and help my wife drain out the basement; flooding has been slow but crazy steady for days.
    I’m “working” so she’s pretty much screwed when it comes to lifting a 12-ghallon Shop Vac…

  3. Robin says:

    Austin, this is awesome! Way to go! I find it fascinating that somehow, some way, we can “decide” on something and then do it — especially after years of avoiding that particular “task.” A week ago I challenged myself to walk 6,000 steps every day. I’ve done it every day since then. I wake up thinking about what time of day I’ll go for my walk! I love this post.

  4. sharonduerst says:

    Yay! You’re doing it! You’re changing yourself, your life, your today and your future! Inspiring!

  5. I am something of a belly crafter myself. Not the sweets but the chips. Just started (again) a weight loss program. I will think of you running in the rain next time I don’t want to head out. I’m still walking not running. But maybe I should forget those baby steps and try some baby strides.

  6. Silly Mummy says:

    I’m just like this – don’t like risks, change, failure. Often paralysed by fear. I’m pretty good with following a fitness regime too when I want to though! Well done on your success!

  7. Congrats Austin, this is really impressive and well worth sharing! It just goes to show that you’re fully capable of going the extra mile in the other areas too. Life is too short to be doing anything other than what you want to be doing, though I know it can be easier said than done. Good luck – with everything!

  8. Writing is a tough business to break into. All you can do is write the best you can and hope it touches someone. As for the ladies, I didn’t meet my ex-girlfriends by looking for a woman, I met them by following my interests and meeting women who shared them.

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