How often do you step outside of your comfort zone? I've always been a realist when it comes to my strengths and weaknesses... and I tend to stick with things I excel at. While this certainly helps me to develop my skills, it doesn't exactly pave the way for personal growth.
I've been challenging myself to try new things lately so when two invitations presented themselves within a week, I jumped at both opportunities.
The first was an invitation to a Buffalo Bills game which came from a very good friend... who also happens to be a talented sports writer. He's a superstar!
While I am not normally a big sports fan (I asked Corey before the game exactly how many periods there would be and he laughed and laughed...) I adore my friend and his enthusiasm for the Bills was infectious. He insisted that I surrender myself to the full experience, which was definitely not in my comfort zone and included consuming a beer in a parking lot before breakfast and some serious people watching!
All in all, it was an awesome (if not a little hazy, due to that morning beer...) day. With two sports writers (and two other "sports guys") in our car, I absorbed some sports trivia before I zoned out and started thinking about work. I was totally going to make some sort of joke about this being outside my comfort zone and relating it to the end zone... because... football. Unfortunately, I'm still not 100% clear on what that is. I assume it's close to the "goal" area at the end of the field. I'm not going to look it up on Wiki... I think I'm at least pretty close.
We also learned an important border crossing tip when faced with a crazy line at customs and only one member of our crew in possession of a Nexus card: You can cross on foot! (at least at the Rainbow Bridge!) It's totally legal... although it felt a little dangerous (I half expected us to be arrested or detained or something...) and it allows you to avoid the insane border lines caused by Sunday shoppers!
So the sports day was a total success. I saw a game. I learned a little about sports. I drank beer in the morning. I liked watching the marching band and cheerleaders. I didn't get kicked in the face or arrested... which was a real concern. Seriously, my friend took his wife to her first game and she was actually KICKED IN THE FACE. The incident was even mentioned in his wedding speech! I don't know if I qualify morning beer as "personal growth" but it was a cool experience and I'm going to call this one a win!
Now for the second "outside my comfort zone" thing that I tried this week. A good friend from out of town sent me an unexpected and incredibly thoughtful birthday gift: A credit at a local dance studio which offers Zumba classes! This friend is a Zumba fiend... and has shared her overwhelmingly positive experiences with me and others through her blog, The Zumba Mommy. Seriously, check out her blog if you are at all curious about Zumba! It's amazing.
Now, organized indoor exercise has traditionally not been my favourite, but the studio was close and the gift was so thoughtful that I just had to try it.
I told another close friend and she couldn't stop giggling. When I asked her why, she pointed out that:
- I dislike exercise.
- I have poor coordination.
- I hate dancing.
- I am not fond of Latin music.
- I am seriously awkward!
I tried the class despite my misgivings and was pleasantly surprised. Sure, I wanted to throw up after about ten minutes and there was a lot of flailing about... but the hour sped by and I certainly got an excellent workout... judging by all the sweat and flailing about!
I also found that I did feel an endorphin high and I was shocked when I couldn't wait to take another class. Seriously, I just finished my second class and I feel like I could do anything... except Zumba, without looking like an idiot. Because I still suck.
Still, I'm counting it as a win because I'm exercising and I actually kind of like it. So that's two wins, thanks to two good friends!
Have you tried anything new lately? Did you also have surprising results?