Have you ever gotten to point where you thought you couldn’t go anymore? That point that just surpasses your “comfort zone?”
I’ve been told many times by coaches, teachers, and other leaders that this is the point when you are just beginning. This is the stage where you embark on a journey into another level of physical endurance. You move past your perceived boundaries and into the unknown. This is where you truly push your limits and open up countless possibilities in self-discovery. As a bike coach of the Cal Poly Triathlon Team, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing people surprise themselves: “Wow, I had no idea I would be able to bike that far!” They biked that far AND further. So why not try? Enter the unknown!
Nicole Matera, Fluid-sponsored ultrarunner, focused her thesis in Sports Psychology on this exact unknown territory. To try to look inside the minds of ultrarunners, she gave runners of Badwater-135 (a 135-mile running race based in Lone Pine, CA) recording devices and asked them to “think out loud” for 25 miles of their race. What she found from these recordings were lots of random, funny thoughts, singing, and coping mechanisms such as counting steps, but I think one of her biggest takeaways was that, in order to succeed in this type of challenge, an athlete must let everything go and “be in his or her body.” When you reach this zone where it’s all you and your physical ability, it’s this amazing feeling of being present in yourself, and realizing the amazing things you are capable of.
***SIDE NOTE: Stay tuned for an awesome inside-look at Nicole Matera’s Badwater run experience as the YOUNGEST participant this year! Article COMING SOON
Neale Donald Walsch said it well: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” This uncharted territory in your brain past your comfort zone is definitely reached after 72 miles on their bicycle with 40 more miles to bike and marathon to run or after a multi-pitch climbing route that puts you hundreds of feet above the ground. BUT FEAR NOT! You don’t have to get that extreme! I firmly believe that by pushing your perceived boundaries in your every day activities and throwing yourself into new ones is one of the best ways to grow holistically and athletically. Running a little farther than you ever have or trying a new activity, like surfing or yoga, or hiking that trail you’ve always wanted to see…these are all examples of ways you push yourself and make today an adventure.
Ultimately, growth is key. Personal growth is the goal. There is some “awesome” in us all, and I think that one way to access this is to commit to excellence in all that you do, strive every day to improve, and not be afraid of the unknown. Here, at Fluid, we want to help you grow, reach your goals, and enjoy yourself while doing what you love!
In the spirit of our Holiday Photo Contest, we encourage you to get out and try something new or push yourself in an everyday activity! Don’t forget to post a photo of your best adventures and #livefluid in the caption!