Do something for the first time.

At the beginning of our Tough Mudder, in fact at the beginning of every Tough Mudder I've ever done, this incredibly inspiring man comes out. We call him "God" for no other reason than that he has a booming, passionate voice, and because he alwasy inspires us in some way before each race. 

At the beginning of this race, he gave this wonderful speech about how the people on this course are challenging themselves and doing obstacles and other physical and mental challenges that they haven't done before. that they haven't done before. That those challenges might be scary. And then he smiled and said,

How long has it been since you’ve done something for the first time?

It stuck with me. And it continues to stick with me, because it's been a longtime.

One of the things I've learned about in all the reading I've done on confidence and mindset is that you can work on your mind a lot and that probably makes the biggest impact globally on your life. But occasionally, it talks that act of physical confidence to put yourself in a new state of mind.

I remember the first Tough Mudder I did. I was training for a half marathon and doing Insanity Max 30, and my friends asked my "why not?" I had heard about them before. Running through electric wires as they shock you, climbing walls, swinging off really freaking high platforms. Pardon my french, but it sounded like a physical bitch slap and mind fuck. I was already coming up with all sorts of disaster scenarios. But somehow, I signed up anyway, and it was the best time I had had in a long time. I had never felt more badass and competing in Tough Mudders is now one of my favorite hobbies.

Last time I did the Courageous Confidence club, a program by Chalene Johnson, my act of physical confidence was to try aerial for the first time. It was scary, put me in uncomfortable (and high) situations, and challenged me to do and try even if I felt I wasn't good at something. And damn did I feel good when I left that gym.

I finally decided that you know what, it's been too damn long since I've done something new. Since I've had that physical challenge.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided to do something new this morning. Something that my girl, Laura, and her big brother (not pictured cuz he had to run the next class!) have been bugging me about for like 9 months. I decided to spend my Saturday morning training with a bunch of MMA fighters.

Though the workout wasn't exactly something I haven't done before, calisthenics like push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, etc. I have never worked out with a bunch of people, most of whom I have never met before, all of whom train in MMA. Ya most of them are amateurs, but they all have been working out in this gym for a while. And most of them stayed after the hour long training session, which no joke made my legs full-on shake, to then do a open-mat jiu jitsu session. 

To say I felt like the least badass person in the room was an understatement. Especially once they donned their jiu jitsu gear for the next class.
To say that I struggled with the 8 min sit-ups circuit would be an understatement. Seriously, I got to the point where I was just doing crunches because I couldn't get my body to do a full sit-up anymore.
But I also get to say that I did jumping lunges for the first time in 5 years. 

Doing new and different things is at best nerve racking and at worst scary. But there also can be glimpses of humor, laughter, enjoyment, and it can be really damn fun! 

I think we tend to forget that. We only see all the things that can go wrong and so little about what could go right. And we do that in all facets of life! And that's too damn bad, because we miss out on so much in life for the pure fact that we're afraid of not being perfect. We're afraid of people seeing us at less than our best, but hell! We've all been there. We've all tried something new, failed, stumbled, and had to get back up and try again. So, why do we think that we can't do that in front of other people? 

I think we miss out on a lot in life because we're not willing to let others see us fail, look stupid, mess up.

But the best moments in life are rarely the moments when things go perfectly. 

Think about the stories you tell at parties.

They're often about how you freaked out and over-reacted, were a total klutz and tripped over a speaker leaving the stage after singing karaoke (I did that last night...no joke). They're not the picture perfect scenes where you had no doubts, were utterly confident, and things panned out exactly as you planned. That shit is comfortable, ya, and I'm sure it feels good at the time. But it's also boring.

Do new things. Get uncomfortable. Try something new.

And in the process, create your next great story. Create your next great moment, your next great challenge, your next great adventure!!! Like how you got your ass-kicked pretending you could hang with MMA fighters, because how badass does it feel to even say that you trained with MMA fighters? Speaking from experience, it feels pretty freaking cool. ;-) Maybe next time I'll even see if they'll let me jump into the sparring. Haha. Oh dear, that will definitely be a story.

 

Ellyn SchinkeComment