Monday, June 27th @ 1:43am
I should be asleep by now.
I normally would have been asleep for hours at this time of night. But, boy, do my nerves have a hold of me right now. Keeping my eyes from becoming drowsy. I keep pacing the room, doing various yoga stretches without any deep breaths, my favorite James Taylor album plays in the background in the hopes that his sweet serenades will calm me. Instead, it’s just a soundtrack that doesn’t coincide with my current state of nervousness.
I keep running through all of these visions in my head. Visions of how tomorrow might play out.
And, quite frankly, they’re not very promising visions.
Tomorrow, I am going to do something I’ve never done before.
Something way out of my comfort zone.
Well, at least, I’m pretty sure it’s out of my comfort zone.
But, then again, that’s hard to say for sure… Seeing as I have never actually done it before.
That’s a funny thing, isn’t it? The fact that our “comfort zones” are something made up almost entirely of our imagination. Since most of the time we don’t actually know for a fact whether or not something is out of our comfort zone until we have actually done it.
Tomorrow, I am going rock climbing, and I am going to attempt a climb that is significantly larger than anything I have ever done.
Like, 4 times larger. (Insert cheeks-flushed, wide-eyed emoji here).
I have only ever completed climbs that were around 100 feet. This is going to be 450 feet.
Let me slow that number down, just to emphasize on its largeness:
four-hundred and fifty feet of rock.
I’m not very good at climbing, and I really don’t know a lot of the procedures and etiquette. The route we are climbing is not all that challenging. In fact, I’m certain almost anyone could climb this route.
So, why haven’t I climbed this yet?
I have wanted to attempt a climb this big since I was first introduced to climbing years ago in high school. So, I ask myself again… Why haven’t I climbed this yet?
I’ll tell you why: My own imagination.
That over-imaginative mind of mine has made up it’s own idea of what my “comfort zone” is. And, apparently, a climb like this was not considered “in” that zone. I keep envisioning myself clinging to the rock and not being able to let go. Or maybe vomiting once I reach the top. Visions of having to pee halfway up the climb.
But, really, who is my imagination to say that this is not something that is comfortable to me?
I think it’s pretty safe to say that this isn’t the first time my imagination has made up ridiculous guidelines that have affected my decisions in life.
What about that time I wanted to talk to that guy that I saw at the coffee shop… And I didn’t?
What about that time I wanted to talk with my boss about an idea I had… And I didn’t?
What about that time I wanted to fly to Argentina… And I didn’t?
What about that time I wanted to write about something that inspired me… And I didn’t?
Why didn’t I? You guessed it, that theoretical comfort zone created entirely out of my theoretical fears. Maybe I would still be talking to that guy. Maybe my boss would have loved my idea and given me a promotion. Maybe Argentina would have changed my life. Maybe writing that piece would have changed someone else’s perspective.
It is important to remember that our comfort zones are only theoretical until proven.
And there is only one way to prove a theory… to get out there and try it.
I dare you to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Whatever they may be. Go climb your own metaphorical rock. Climb all 450 feet of your rock before you consider it out of your comfort zone. Because, who knows… Maybe you were destined to become a climber. A climber of your own fears. Those fears that your mind has made up for you.
Don’t let your imagination tell you what is and isn’t in your comfort zone. Climb to the top of that rock, and when you get to the top, look down below at where you started and realize how nothing is really out of your comfort zone. That it is all in your head. And that you have full control over it.
P.S. I completed the climb the next day. Reaching the top was, by far, one of the most freeing feelings I have ever felt. And you can be sure that when I got to the top, I looked down at the river below me, spread my arms wide, and breathed in that feeling of accomplishment. The accomplishment was not climbing the wall. The accomplishment was the fact that I pushed my comfort zone aside and did exactly what I had always wanted to do with purpose and confidence.
What to say about Dai. She stole my heart the first time we spent together so many years ago at Bull Shoals Lake on the Missouri/Arkansas border. The trip was an annual, week-long event for our families that involved laughter, cliff jumping, and mounds of sun screen. Tanna (my daughter) and her friend Emily struck up an immediate friendship with Dailyn and her cousin, Jade. These four young ladies entertained the little ones, mesmerized the preteen boys, and captured every mama’s heart in camp.
Then life got crazy, jobs changed, children grew and the annual vacation came to a natural conclusion. We don’t get to see pretty Dai (or her parents!) except via e-mail, texts, or Facebook. It’s one of the instances I’m thankful for social media because the platform has allowed me to watch Dailyn grow from a fledgling doe-child into the fearless, independent woman you see on this page.
- In 2010, thirteen individuals came together inspired by a mutual friend’s determination to make something positive come from a recent diagnosis of a brain tumor. Everyone shared a link to a neurological challenge (brain tumors, aneurysms, epilepsy, etc.). Their experiences ranged from personal diagnosis to supporting diagnosed family members and friends. The group also shared a passion for the outdoors, an unyielding enthusiasm for life, and a drive to overcome the hardship of a diagnosis and focus on quality of life. These commonalities inspired the idea of Outdoor Mindset (OM). Now, the ongoing connections made by OM broaden the story.
- Our community is available for anyone that shares our passion for the outdoors and has been affected by a neurological challenge (including diagnosed individuals and their supporters). Common neurological challenges include: Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Brain Tumors, Parkinson’s, ALS, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, and more.
Thank you to Miss Dailyn for providing such a rich and inspiring look at the moments that scare us. I feel like a proud mama featuring her today. Please give her some sugar in the comments, and visit her at her blog. I know you’ll love this wild child as much as I do. xo