Trying new things. It is something we all talk about, but it is also something we rarely do. The rhythm of our life becomes comfortable, and breaking out of that rhythm is sometimes difficult. This is because the unknown is scary. It is unexpected, and we don’t like that as humans. But, if we can make ourselves try new things, venture into the unknown, it can sometimes turn out to be the most rewarding.
Ashton Kutcher once said “I’m continually trying to make choices that put me against my own comfort zone. As long as you’re uncomfortable, it means you’re growing.” With challenge comes change. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to your fitness journey. For a muscle to grow, for fat to be lost, we have to challenge ourselves to cause that change. In the fitness world, we call that progression. Continuously lift more weight, putting muscles under more stress, and cause them to grow. But, it also means something much deeper than just doing some more bicep curls for bigger arms. For me, it meant trying something completely new outside of my comfort zone, putting the work in, and trusting that I would receive a reward for trying something new.
For me, competing in a powerlifting competition a few weeks ago was a new experience. It made me step out of that comfort zone that I had been stuck in for the last 5 years. I had no idea what was going to happen. Was I going to lose the muscle I had worked for? Was my chances at bodybuilding again going to diminish, because I wanted to try something new? Would I be successful?
I trained hard for 10 weeks, putting everything I had into it, and the day came. And you know what? I was ready. And, it ended up being one of the most rewarding days I’ve had, and it was all because I knew that I was able to step out of my comfort zone, try something new, and put everything I had into it. It was the first time I felt the way I did when playing baseball growing up. It was like pitching a 1-0 game, and I just won. I accomplished something huge. I didn’t get a trophy or even place for that matter, but I got something way better out of it than a trophy, and that was the confidence that I know I can do anything I put my mind and heart into.
We have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Maybe that means picking up that 100 lb. dumbbell you have been eyeing in the gym, not thinking you can do it, even though you’ve lifted the 95 lb. dumbbell many times before. Or, maybe it is trying a yoga class for the first time, rather than doing that same ol’ lifting routine you have done for years. Or, maybe it is just walking into a gym for the first time ever and asking a personal trainer for help.
Whatever “new” or uncomfortable means for you in your fitness journey or even in life, I challenge you to go out and try it. You will not regret it. I tried something new, and I found a new passion out of it. I will be competing again here soon, and I can honestly say that at the beginning of the year, I did not see myself doing two powerlifting competitions this year, let alone one. But, I did, and I am so happy I did. I have grown as both a personal trainer and within myself through this whole experience, and I wish the same for all of you!
Go out, try something new today, and get better than yesterday!
By: Ryan McIvor