Friday, February 19, 2016

Going the Distance: Life Outside the Comfort Zone - A New Challenge

One of my health and fitness goals for 2016 was, that after running the Bermuda Half Marathon and the Hyannis 10K that I was going to kick my strength training up a notch. Last week as I was doing sit ups, I felt bored and felt as if they were not doing anything for me. Sure enough when I googled core strengthening exercises to do instead of sit ups, there was a wealth of information about why sit ups were no longer an appropriate core strengthening exercise and it can also increase risk of back injury. Funny how when we listen to our bodies they know what they need.

I found two core strengthening exercises with lowering legs slowly and hovering above the floor both with legs straight up and down and to the side. This will strengthen all of the abdominal muscles. I could only do 3 reps of each but I felt the burn.

My goal is to move from regular plank to dolphin plank. While I was doing plank with arms straight this morning I could feel myself getting stuck in my head. As a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma, my default response used to be, "I can't do that. My body can't do that." As I was looking ahead to doing dolphin plank after I hit 3:30 for holding a plank with arms straight, everything froze within me. I did opt to do a side plank and shook and trembled as I fired up new muscles. As I returned to straight plank, I really had to push myself to hold for 3:20 but I did it! I went outside of my comfort zone and did something new and allowed myself to feel and embrace the challenge.

And then I remembered a post from my friend Michelle Kennis:

***Pull ups will continue to challenge me BUT I will NOT give up, that's not a option***

Getting stronger every day

What exercise is a challenge for you?

When I responded to her post with dolphin plank she was so supportive and encouraging. "Those are tough. You will get it," she said.

Now all I need to do is to start with my imagination and imagine my body doing these different things and allowing for the transformation to continue to happen. I am going to embrace and enjoy the struggle ditching those old beliefs about what my body can and can not do and reach new heights in my health and wellness journey.

I know I can do this because:

My dear friend Kathleen shared on Facebook that she saw my post with the quote that begins this blog post with another post:

I want and need to be great and feel great.

As Tara Brach wrote in True Refuge, "May [we all] know the natural joy of being alive!"

How do you take on a new challenge?

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