Lesson 4

Getting out of Your Comfort Zone.

Yes you are happy and cozy in your Comfort Zone but there is a whole crazy, wild,BreakOUT2 exciting, scary, wonderful, amazing world out there. You might even be saying to yourself that you are adventurous and are always out of the comfort zone, and except for a very small percent of the population I say “Liar”. OK, you think of yourself as out of the comfort zone but would you give money to the poor or homeless, volunteer at a shelter, enjoy a day in the city as much as a day in the great outdoors, or vise versa, attending the MET gala and a monster truck show. If you said yes then you are out there, but if you squirmed at a suggestion or said no then you aren’t pushing yourself.

Now lets get you out there into something you have never done for some reason or another, as always with moderation and be safe.

I have had many opportunities in my life to step out of my comfort zone, some I have taken and have been reward and others I didn’t take and wonder what I missed.

Opportunity Missed:

About two summers ago I was out in Texas, and a group of 20 were going to a zip line course.  I was all excited as this was something I always wanted to do but never did for some reason or another.  The ride up is good, hot but good.  When we get there we have to wait but they have some games and brain teaser set up (like the ones at Cracker Barrel).  Finally we head up to the staging area and we get suited up.  As this is going on I read the safety sign posted on the tower we are about to climb.  Probably my first mistake that day.  I saw the safe weight limit and knew that I was over the limit.  So I asked and I was told it was no big deal, and people larger than me have been on the zip line.

Then we get in line and wait as we climb a spiral stair case up the tower that sways with each person that goes down.  Time for my logical brain or what I call “science brain” to kick in.  All my classes in Physics and OSHA start racing through my head.  The lines are tested and given a rating lower than what they can safely handle; but that limit has been exceed X number of times; and gravity exerts an exponential force; and dam we are high up (ok not “Science Brain” but still valid).

Is_this_safe

Finally at the top (oh god is this tower swaying).  I get clipped in because they don’t want you to fall off the top of the tower that has no sides (can we say OSHA violation).  My Turn!  I can’t do it. I sit down on the edge as instructed and them I’m supposed to let myself fall off the tower (WTF!?!).  “Science Brain” tells me this a very bad idea “Lizard Brain” (the primal instinct one) agrees.  My brains are telling me this is how people die!  Meanwhile others are going down the second line, and thats what is making the tower sway.  So hear I am on the edge of a swaying tower: Jump or Don’t?  The instructor says I have to do it and she can’t give the final push.

In the end I didn’t go down (you might have guessed from the section title).

Opportunity Taken:

As I was heading home from work I saw an older man standing on the corner and he was putting down two grocery bags.  He didn’t have his thumb out but I turned around anyway.  I thought that he would need a ride even if he didn’t start

I quickly thought about this old man and his trip so far.  So, he walked from his house to Oldman_hitchhikingKey Foods in town (10.7 miles and a 3hr 45min walk) and was about to head back (a total of 21.4 miles).  Not only is that a long walk but he would be walking along the shoulder the whole way, and the road has next to no shoulder.  Yes the speed limit on that road is 25 mph, but its a country road.

On the way he told me about how he used to own a Carvel store in Brooklyn, how to make ice cream especially banana ice cream, that he had spun out on ice and wrecked his car and that’s why he was walking, that he was out getting medicine for his wife who has cancer, how he is on welfare and how he can’t even afford cigarettes.  As we got to his house, after getting his mail, he told me how he was about to ask God for help right before I pulled up.  He thanked me, shook my hand and thanked me again.

I was very happy to help this man.  I knew nothing about him as I pulled up but I had already decided I would help him out.  I was rewarded with a life story of a man and his thanks.

Batman_Hichhiking

As you can tell I felt great and more fulfilled when I stepped out of my comfort zone.  Yes it can be scary and you never know what you are going to get.  But you just might be rewarded with a great life story, thanks and praise, or if you’re lucky you might get to start an adventure.

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