Challenging Yourself

This past October, I turned the big 4-0. Oh yes, I’m finally coming to terms that I’m 40. For my birthday present, I enjoyed some much needed R&R at Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona with my best friend (thanks amazing hubby!). As I embarked on my journey, I decided to use the trip as a chance to break out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to try new things. Rather than the old stand-by spa treatments, like Swedish massage and facials, I decided to try Watsu (shiatsu in a pool) and Abhayanga, an Ayurvedic massage. Wow! What eye-opening experiences! The Watsu was so relaxing and freeing. You’re floating in a pool, supported by a therapist who is moving your body in all directions. In order to reap the full benefits, you have to learn to surrender and allow someone else to be in control – not an easy feat for those of us control freaks!

I also vowed to try some new exercise classes – again, letting someone else be in control of my workout, rather than doing my same old routine. Yogilates was a new one for me. Zen Boot Camp was a great way to start our day, running along the resort property at the foot of the Santa Catalina mountains. The class even involved hula hooping! I know we all looked funny, but we  were all smiling and laughing about it. And yes, my abs were sore the next day.

The highlight of the trip, though, was rising early Sunday morning to the challenge course. There were five of us plus our instructor. We got into our harnesses and got a lesson on rope safety. Then it was time to climb. Up a 35 foot telephone to a very small platform. I climbed first, my heart pounding very loudly in my chest. As I climbed, I noticed that my breathing became very quick. Adrenaline was pumping. I made it to the top of the pole and had to shift my weight to get up on the platform. Not an easy task. With the pole swaying, I decided to sit on my knees on the platform as I waited for my friend to join me. She made it up pretty quickly. Now I had to stand up to make room for her on the platform and help her up. Teamwork – that’s how we did it. After she got up, we took a few minutes to enjoy the view. Sunrise. Mountains. Crisp, cool air. The shaking and swaying seemed to stop. We were ready for the Leap of Faith. We counted to three and took a step off into thin air. Then I was flying – like Peter Pan. What a feeling! Free-floating and flying. I don’t know how long we were flying, but soon were lowered to the ground. We did it!

Leap of Faith

(that’s me on the right)

Now, I know that not everyone is going to run out right now and try this. But you can use this story to help motivate you to break outside of your comfort zones and try something new. Next year, sky diving?

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2 Responses to Challenging Yourself

  1. Cathy says:

    Erin, you totally rock. I think being 40-something is when you finally get to knwo who you are… I think your 20’s are when you think you know what you want, your 30’s are when you try to get what you want… and your 40’s are when you realize you have what you need! thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Amazing post, Erin!! I absolutely love it!!

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