I Stepped Out Of My Comfort Zone And I Liked It

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I've loathed PE classes my whole life. When I learned, sometime around age 13, that there isn't such thing at the university, that was a thing in life I looked forward to. A lot. (Un)fortunately, I wasn't one of those kids whose parents made sure they got exempted from PE classes by asking a physician to make something up about their (in)abilities. In fact, I even worked out during my period, because I'm a lucky bastard that doesn't feel any physical pain—only wants to eat everything. (And my everything is probably everythingier than your everything.)

Fast forward to the ripe age of 27 and I'm going to the gym every other day and bragging about my 40 kg Romanian deadlift on social media. And to my friends. (Mental note: your workout doesn't really elicit much interest from people other than your trainer, so you might as well stop doing that.) I look better than I looked two months ago, though I'm still quite far from my goal, but more than certain I'm getting there eventually. I eat better and my fruit basket is filled with apples... and chocolates. Chocolates I get to eat myself.

In the age of banners and ads on how to lose weight in 7 easy steps, in the world of magic pills and shakes and teas that build your abs while you watch TV, and let's not forget approximately 7,983,795 diets out there, it seems we've forgotten the basic formula. And I get why. Oh, I get that every time I lie lifelessly on the gym floor, staring at the ceiling and waiting for my breath to become normal again. Working out is hard. Browsing the internet and eating? That's easy. That's nice. Pizza is nice. Burgers are awesome. Chocolates and cakes are gods. I should know.

But if working out were easy, everyone would do that. I know my previous self would have. I like this one better, though. She lifts weights in the area where she's been the only female for weeks. She comes to the gym with bright red nails and feels the looks while she's attaching weights to a barbell. She's not even sure you say "attaching weights". Yet she does it. And will be doing it for quite a while. She... okay, enough with the third person. I hope so. 

I stepped out of my comfort zone by paying a monthly fee to the gym and making sure I didn't waste the money - and then doing it again. I know we all make New Year's resolutions in which we hope to become better versions of ourselves; but do we succeed? Well, if we hope - then no, most of the time we don't. I have a love-hate relationship with my NY resolutions. I usually lack determination. Or I bite off more than I can chew. At the end of the day, the outcome is the same: doing what feels nice and what is easy. Of course I want to be good looking and successful and rich - but, um, can that please happen without me doing anything? Oh. Well, I guess that's it then. I'm fine this way.

I doubt my local gym had ever seen such an Alice in Wonderland I was a month and a half ago. And I can tell you for sure my body didn't like the first experience, for it woke all sore the following day. It wasn't very pleased with the fact it cannot devour everything in the sight. Oh, no, wait, that was the brain. BUT the brain is immensely happy because pizza isn't forbidden. In fact, nothing really is. Once I put things into perspective, though, pizza became a rare treat instead of a dinner every other day because *drumroll* for something so high in calories, it isn't really packed with nutrients. Ha! Who would have thought, right?!

(By the way, it's all my mom had been telling me for ages. But teenagers' moms know nothing and are boring, we can all agree on that.)

The formula is easy. It's what we all know intuitively and what makes sense. Sticking to it is what's hard. That's also why there are the aforementioned 7,983,795 diets and pills. Having results would be awesome if somehow we didn't have to work something to get them. But this might have turned into more than just (visible) results. Yes, I do want to look better in two months than I do now, and I want to look even better in three months. I also want to lift more than I can now. And honestly, few things can compare and compete with the "I'm the king of the woooorld" feeling I get almost every time I go downstairs to the locker room, even if my legs are shaking. Or especially then.

Stepping out of the comfort zone is a scary prospect - but just stepping out once is nothing. Reaching out and stepping out more and more is the only process that makes sense.

As for me - the former Alice in Wonderland - I'm about to keep chasing White Rabbit. I know it won't be sun and rainbows, I know there will be times I won't cry just because I'm in public and sometimes I won't even care about that because it's so.damn.hard. But a month and a half in, and it seems to me that every struggle is worth the "I'm the king of the woooorld" feeling three times a week. Or even more often. Like, every time I remembered the 40 kg Romanian deadlift from my last training.

Photo: Unsplash

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