"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
Neale Donald Walsch
So many times I have skimmed over this quote projected in lovely font over inspirational shots.
|Don't worry, I'm not going to take up crazy scooting. Yet. Just thought this was a good shot to illustrate someone doing something uncomfortably awesome and fun.|
I have been making an effort in the past year, to step out of my "comfort zone" and accepting challenges as well as assigning them to myself.
The biggest one of these challenges for me was joining the Team Honk U.K. wide blogger relay for Sport relief last year.
When I joined, I thought that I was going to be helping others. I didn't know quite how much I would be helping myself in the process.
I was a bit timid and doubting myself about being a part of the relay. I wasn't fit enough, I wasn't that great with social media and fund raising, promoting or asking for help. I have a tendency to be shy, and anxious...ecetera.
But it was one of the best things that I ever got to do. Oxford/Team Honk Sport Relief
Since then my lifestyle has changed a lot.
Being a part of Team Honk changed my life. As dramatic as it may sound, it's so true.
We struggled through those 60 miles on the bikes, but it gave me an appetite for more.
I've since spent the last year Learning how to bike. Really bike. Then learning how to manage my fuel consumption for optimal cycling purposes (aka: calorie counting via My Fitness Pal)
Calorie Counting was "boring" I thought; but I wanted to lose some extra weight so that I could really fly on my new bike. Now that I am 24 pounds or so lighter than I used to be, I am so looking forward to cycling season, to feel the difference.
A holiday without the bike meant that I had to seek alternative exercise to maintain the work I had done and so then I learnt how to run (with C25K). I have always sworn that running was never, ever a sport for me. And now, I find myself in love and addicted and thinking about when and where I can fit the next run in. I can't write about the things I have seen, experienced or felt when I have been out running without being too gushy but it's all good. So good.
I have learnt that being healthier and fitter is fun, and I know that it has helped to keep stresses and anxieties at bay as well. I now have a job within biking distance (Score!) and so I get to cover around 36 miles on bike every week. (I'm not a Poplar midwife but a commuting teaching assistant.) I may not be the freshest flower at work, but I arrive happy.
If I sound like I'm on a high, it's probably all those endorphins talking.
In general, I have more energy, have gotten a bit better at time management, (so that I can squeeze in runs/rides) and feel better mentally as well as physically.
No wonder I'm happier and sound like someone in a new relationship with exercise.
I find myself going through a series of "firsts"in my thirties. The first time I tried tweeting, properly (Team Honk-I'm still not so good at this.) The first time I Instagrammed. The first time I rode 30 miles in a day, 60 miles in a day... 70 miles in a day... . The first time I ran 5K, 10K, watch this space. Sharing, communicating and getting fit has given me a real buzz.
I credit being a part of Team Honk as the catalyst to this fab year, so when asked who would be on board for this year's Comic Relief, I said "yes". Of course!
And so yet again, this Sunday, I will be stepping out of my comfort zone. Or rather; twerking, jiving, swinging, pumping, grapevining, popping, locking, grinding, roboting... my way out of the private disco in my kitchen to Wembley Stadium.
Red Nose Day Danceathon
I am normally a private dancer, but now I get to be a dancer for money and any old music will have to do.
So at 34 years of age, this will be another first! I am taking up dancing for money.
Again, I feeling a bit nervous. I get pointless shy, can be socially awkward and I may get overly excited to have a chance to dance with all these wonderful people. But what if I get in that awkward shutdown mode and I can't get my groove on? Or worse; what if I actually do get my groove on? I do not underestimated that power of my dance in it's ability to help me "lose friends and alienate people." I'm guessing that I'm not the only one with a few butterflies though.
So "I've got to hang up all my hang ups" and trust that stepping out of my comfort zone (aka: my kitchen disco) will be great.
Stepping out of my comfort zone is the least I can do.
As I step out of my comfort zone, I may find again that I am more comfortable than I could have imagined. And like the positive domino effect being a part of Team Honk has had on me; the fundraising for Comic Relief is essential and huge in those in need closer to a more comfortable place.
I am always interested to look into all of the projects that are funded by Comic Relief. There are so many and you can find them all here:
Please have a look at some of these blog posts from our Team Honk leaders as they visited projects supported by Comic Relief.
HOVIC, Kenya I was drawn to Nancy's story particularly, and how honest she seemed about her initial insecurities and how being welcomed into the project has helped her.
mothers2mothers Annie's incredible images and stories about how mothers2mothers is working to help stop the transmission of HIV from mothers to babies and supporting new mothers and families.
Mummy Barrow's Rant about Pants has got me ranting as well. I cannot stop thinking about this. Pants. And I have been scheming and researching ways to help this pants situation.
If you fancy sponsoring me and helping me to achieve my latest goal of becoming a dancer for money; it would be much appreciated! (It will also help me not to panic and back out!)
Sponsor Katie and Team Honk
I can't wait to see some of you there! xxx