I am 45 minutes into an hour of my Pilates private session and my right quad feels like it may burst into flames – or just burst. I’ve been doing a slow, long lunge-like exercise, called going up front on the “chair,” a workout designed to completely fatigue the deepest parts of each muscle in my legs and test my balance before moving onto a new muscle group. At this point, any athletic prowess I once believed I had, has gone out the window — not to mention my general pride — as I look down to see my entire leg shaking as much as it’s burning. Just as I am about ready to fully swallow my pride and straighten my leg for just a quick moment of relief, I hear Shona (my Pilates instructor) say, “ Stay in it, I know it’s uncomfortable. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable, that’s the only way to see change. That’s the only way you will grow.”
Shona was right. I came back the next week, and the week after that, and the week after that, (I have now been practicing Pilates for 5 years) until I no longer felt such an impulse to dip out of the moves. Pushing past my comfort zone had, in fact, made me – and my various muscle groups – stronger.
This certainly wasn’t the first time I had been taken out of my comfort zone, either in a workout or in life, but it was a strong reminder of the importance of doing so — and it is at the core of my Pilates practice, so it seemed a fitting theme for this week. During this first “full” week of November (my birthday month – 58 and stronger than ever!) and the beginning of the third month since the launch of Pure Joy Wellness, I feel pushed further out of my comfort zone more than ever before.
Starting Pure Joy Wellness was the biggest leap: taking the risk to start a company and leave my former television career, to follow my passion (health and fitness) and make my own mark on the world. After that, I thought surely I had gotten to the other side of the hump. But each day is a challenge in its own way. Some of it is easy, as I really believe in what we are doing — giving a front row seat to the latest in health, fitness and wellness so that readers and clients can design their own healthiest life— but some of it puts me in places I have never been before.
If you haven’t noticed, my face and body is plastered all over our website and social media. Putting yourself out there in such a big, bold, and revealing way (literally and figuratively) is just plain scary for someone like me, a very private person. However, I constantly remind myself of how much I am asking others to also step outside of their comfort zones – trying new workouts, eating differently, thinking about their health differently. If I don’t push myself, how can I expect anyone else to? As I tell all of my clients, “I never ask you to do anything that I have not already done myself.”
At Pure Joy Wellness, we are talking about your health and wellness in a new and very honest way. I believe we need to stop talking about “bikini bodies,” “fitting into your skinny jeans” or “how to get 6 pack abs,” and instead put the focus on helping people find a healthy lifestyle that they love, which may or may not appeal to some people. But I am a person who is keenly and personally aware that this conversation needs to occur and MUST change. Change is scary, though, but being the first one through the wall is even scarier.
I am asking you, to have the courage to do the same – and push yourselves. Whether it be in life, in work, in relationships, in your health, or just getting a little more sleep each night, try leaving your comfort zone – even on a small level – and see what results may come.
So, I offer you a challenge: Join us on Facebook and show us you’re pushing out of your own comfort zone – photos, words, it can be anything. We want to see and celebrate your successes.