Are You Challenging Youself?

Above all, challenge yourself. You may well surprise yourself at what strengths you have,

what you can accomplish. - Cecile Springer

I drug myself out of bed yesterday morning at 5:30 AM and did my first race of the year. Now, it wasn't long and no one (except me) is holding me to a time, but it would have been much easier to stay in bed. I'd been sick all week, work is a bear and it was 36 degrees and raining like hell. No one would have blamed me for sleeping in. I even tried to talk myself into bailing the night before.

The reason I bring this up isn't because I'm so awesome for dragging my butt out of bed on a cold and rainy Saturday, it's because I wasn't doing that the decade prior.

While I'd been an athlete (a mediocre one at that) my whole life and loved it, I'd gotten soft. I wasn't challenging myself like I should. I was raising three kids, married, my career felt like trying to hit a moving target and navigating everything else in between. That's enough of a challenge, right?


When you're exceeding at what you're expected to do, it's not a win. In fact, no one is ever going to mention - "hey thanks for paying that gas bill. Nice work!" No, the heat is just supposed to come on. You need to stretch yourself to get that feeling of accomplishment. You're supposed to keep paying the bills, getting raises at work and looking like the all-American dad. It's expected. And while you're exhausted and it'll feel like an accomplishment at 80, it's not enough now. You need something else. You need to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. It has to be for you.

I've been thinking about this a lot and have my list for 2012. It includes getting my SCUBA certification, participating in a ridiculous 11 mile mud run with 20 obstacles designed by the British Special Forces, writing 30 posts in 30 days (almost there), various runs and events and laying out what could be an actual book. Will I do all of them? I hope so, but even if I just miss it'll be more than I did in years.

We become boring as we get older because we constantly make up excuses for why we can't do something. Why we quit doing things we love. Family is always an excuse, but I guarantee they would rather you be happy doing things you love instead of sitting on the couch with a cocktail watching Modern Family. If you don't believe me, ask them.

Then make your list.