I'd like to take this opportunity to continue our conversation about 'zones' in Arielle's last write up. And also about comfort. Although we preach about finding comfort in the discomfort, I have recently realized that my comfort zone is anything BUT comfortable. As I check in with myself, I realize it is a challenge to mentally check out and give myself permission to rest my body and mind. I think I am too familiar with the world outside my comfort zone. I may have forgotten how to live within it. And that's scary.
The A type in most of us runners understand the feeling of pushing past our comfort. We are familiar with the feeling of challenging our minds and bodies and the physical and personal development that comes with that. That is a wonderful thing. But when is it not?
Outside of my comfort zone is very comfortable. I feel extremely fortunate that I get to play in the forests and the mountains with like minded people. Pursuing physical and mental challenges is the norm - and that's pretty cool. When I push my body and mind past its limits I feel at peace with myself, my unicorns, and my physical and mental abilities. When I stop doing these things, it feels very uncomfortable. And although it is necessary to take time off (mentally more than anything), it is an uncomfortable sensation.
So I am currently looking for my comfort zone. Our comfort zones are just as important as pushing beyond them. I don't want to be in my comfort zone, but I know it's essential before ramping up the mileage. Right now, I am learning to accept a mental and physical break as a blessing. It feels uncomfortable, but I know it's necessary.
Perhaps my comfort zone is the uncomfortable. What most people may define as comfort, makes me extremely uncomfortable. I thrive on the challenge, the discipline, and the uncomfortable. To me, the 'comfort' is running for hours over beautiful terrain with like minded wonderful humans. However, it's unsustainable to stay outside of one's comfort zone forever. So I must go back to square one. Running is a life long practice. So I'm learning to accept the ebbs and flows of the process. I'm learning to give myself permission to check out, so I can check in, and get back to what I love.