I could take on the physical challenge of races and the mental challenges of work. But I never challenged myself to be social, spontaneous and adventurous. Many of my friends and the people who know me now would never believe how much social anxiety I struggled with for a long time. And still do. But on this new kick – try something new, meet new people, branch out, be visible - I’m pushing myself against my introvert instinct. I’m biting the bullet, taking some risks. And damn, it’s paying off!
I think it started back this summer when I decided to return to triathlons. A different world than the marathon team I’d worked with for five years. Knew a few folks, but not many. And joining up with a team that had a large alumni base and a cohesive staff made me anxious. Turns out, they could not have taken me in more warmly and with such open arms.
And it’s been through this group of folks I’ve done some cool things with – Saturday night at the Trampoline Gym, yes please – and have gotten more comfortable just striking up conversations. I am not the type of person to walk up to someone and introduce myself … but I do that now. That’s a little victory!
So all of this newness and fun has fueled me to take another risk, per se. Again, pushing back that comfort zone, or rather, ripping its face right off …
I signed up for the Great Wall Marathon in May 2013. My friends Jason (above) and Karen, along with others, are heading there to run the race. They’d mentioned it to me a while back and said I should join. At the time I agreed. Also, at the time, I was holding a glass of tequila. So, my brain was on backwards. But Karen sent me the info Sunday and I read it. My mom and I chatted, and she was really supportive. Dad, consider reading this my breaking the news to you :)
I’ve been out of the country once, to Italy. I have always wanted to go to Asia, but never thought I’d go do it. Because that’s not me. That’s not my life.
But now it is. And then I get this high off of realizing, I get to make my life the way I want it. I’m blessed with that freedom. And, hell, I’m going to have as much fun as I can, make as many friends as I can, run as many miles as I can and love it all as hard as I can – because, as they say, you can take a day off but you can’t put it back on.
For as active as I am as a person, I finally feel like I am living life actively.