This morning was a milestone for me; after a couple of weeks of nursing a slightly sprained ankle, it was time to challenge myself in my workout.
I did all my usual stretches and warm up before embarking upon a full-on Kettlebell HIIT workout on the Joe Wicks App. Nothing unusual here, you might think, for an exercise junkie vicar, except for the fact that today I picked up a 10kg kettlebell (definitely out of my comfort zone) and used it for the entire workout. This was a big step up for me as the exercises involved not only double arm swings but also single arm presses above the head and single arm swings, lunges, cleans etc.
Over the months of lockdown I have been so careful with my right shoulder and arm, following the horrible injury I sustained in 2019. A considerable number of lockdown months in 2020 were spent rehabilitating the area and dealing with the fallout of the original injury to my chest, shoulder and neck whilst doing tricep dips in the gym. The severe nerve pain down my right arm was debilitating for many months, hence the extreme care in the choice of weight I have wielded during my workouts. But today was the day, largely due to the fact that I was aware that the 8kg kettlebell I had previously used was feeling just a bit too easy and so I went for it. Of course, I had the 8 nearby as a safety blanket, just in case I felt the need to drop back, but I didn’t. When I completed the workout I was so pleased with the fact that I’d been brave enough to take up the challenge and that I’d also managed it all. Some of it took all my strength and determination, but that’s OK. I can build on that.
Life is full of challenges and they often feel beyond us. Sometimes, though, we have to just carefully build up to them, to prepare ourselves properly and then to mitigate against risk. This being done, we should be able and indeed willing to test ourselves and to push ourselves out of our comfort zone.
If we don’t we will always be stuck in that zone and will fail to make progress.
Be brave, step out of the comfort zone!