Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

I was an education major in college the first go around, elementary education to be specific.  When I was going to college, there was both a glut of college students and recent college graduates in elementary education, so I decided to minor in science to set me apart a bit from the others that were minoring in social studies or English.  I knew science teachers were in more demand than other disciplines in the middle school grades.  The problem was, I really didn't have that much of an aptitude for science.  Each class was putting me farther and farther out of my comfort zone form the subjects I had always breezed through in high school.  My particular emphasis was earth science, in which several core classes were in geology.  One Saturday, we a d a trip to go collect rock and fossil samples.  We caravaned to the bluffs of the Mississippi where we had to climb up the steep sides to gather the samples of the ancient  fossils of Cretaceous cephalopod.  I had not planned that we actually would be climbing the bluffs themselves, and I had a healthy fear of heights, and nearly had a panic attach when I learned the plans.  A women that I had developed a friendship with, who was a decade older than most of the students, took me aside and told me frankly, "If I can haul my 30 year old single mom ass out of bed each morning and into class, you can do a little climb to gather a petrified bug." She climbed by my side, and before I knew it, I was actually enjoying myself. Comfort zones.  they are tough things to get out of, but me like the bluff wall, and she going back to school, an experience I shared a decade later when I went back to school again, outside is where the adventure is. 

I've been thinking a lot about the activities other people enjoy regularly that  I think I might too.  I have either not seriously looked for the opportunity, or I didn't have enough patience to learn and understand the process.  We are officially into fall on both the calendar, if not yet the weather in Minnesota.  But the slight chill in the morning and the darkening sky's by 6:30 tell me winter is not that far off.  I want to pick up a new hobby or two, and get my evenings and weekends shaken up a bit-get out of my comfort zone.  I'm not going to take on any death defying stunts, but for me, these will be daring. In no particular order, here are my three comfort busting goals. 

1) Learn to knit.  Even if all I end up making are potholders or dishrags, I want to learn.  I was in a seminar the other day and a colleague pulled out her knitting needles and yarn during the key note speaker.  She was fully engaged in listening the the speaker, and her hands were productive. I love the idea of sitting with friends talking and knitting, or curled up in front of the television on a Sunday afternoon with a football game on.  I've never really tried to knit.  I have no crafting skills, but I am going to face this one.  I found a few YouTube tutorials.  Now, to stop this weekend to buy some yarn and needles.

2) Cross Country Ski.  We have miles of trails around us.  I've hiked in the winter and have even used snow shoes, but I've never really done much cross country skiing.  I haven't down hill skied either, but I don't have a ski hill in my back yard, but I do have a park and walking paths. I need to find out where I might be able to rent the equipment, but I saw there was a Community Ed class offered last year, so assume  someone will offer again this winter. I am sure some of you are wondering why living in the snow capital, why haven't I done this before.  the answer is, I don't know; I just haven't.

3) Take a Zumba class.  This one is probably the biggest step out of my comfort zone.  I was never one for public dancing, and I have struggled with self confidence in exercise classes.  this combines both those discomforts, but a friend swears I will love it once I try.  We will see.  I have a couple classes scheduled in October. 

How about you?  What has been your biggest comfort zone push?  Did you find once you did it, you kept it up? 

All pictures from


  1. That looks like three good things to do for their own sakes, Sam. I k nit regularly and can thoroughly recommend it for de-stressing - once you get through the total frustration stage! I usually knit just before I go to bed. I've got a scarf on my needles at the moment ready for a Christmas present

    1. A hand knit scarf is a wonderful gift. Oh to be able to give one!


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