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Out of the comfort zone

It's been a week of new things.

It started with Master's swimming at the University at Buffalo where the workout for my lane included the IM -- individual medley.

Seriously? I can barely freestyle correctly and you want me to do three other strokes?

I thought about doing mostly free the entire workout but decided to give it a try. (Except for the butterfly. I substituted freestyle for that.) My backstroke is very elementary, learned from watching the Olympians do it and trying to emulate it myself. My breaststroke is OK, but the kick is not effective, nor very fast.

The entire process tired me out and put me out of my comfort zone.

Which is good.

Generally speaking, you don't get better unless you get out of your comfort zone. Whatever it is -- fitness, sports, career, relationships -- you don't grow unless you try something new. Sometimes you fumble and stumble at the beginning. Sometimes you think it's just too hard. Sometimes the work seems way too demanding for what you can provide physically and emotionally.

But those who face those challenges, face those fears, not only find success but joy.

So I muddle through the hard, new stuff. It's not instantaneous, but after each session, I feel a little stronger, a little more confident.

And yes, even a little more joyful.

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