It’s THRILLING to accomplish something you weren’t certain you could do. For all the babble out there and instagram quotes about comfort zones and breakthroughs and whatnot, that central truth remains. And to accomplish something you aren’t certain you can do, you have to, well, do something you aren’t sure you can do. For people who are risk-averse creatures of habit, this can be a huge leap— but so, so worth it. There are roller-coaster thrills, and then there are life-changing thrills. On the roller coaster, you know you’re on there for five minutes and everything’s been safety-checked. For the other kind, there’s no net— you don’t know what will happen.
Last weekend, I ran a Ragnar Relay with my sister and a bunch of other lawyers.
I knew I could finish the distance running, it wasn’t a lot of a stretch. I knew I could
handle riding in a stinky van. I wasn’t sure I would be good with the sleep deprivation, the lack of recovery time, the lack of privacy and quite time and alone time. It could be incredibly fun and kooky— but what if it wasn’t?? Spoiler alert: it was. I ran in the hottest part of the day. I ran at one in the morning. I ran for the third time in 24 hours. And it was awesome. Who knew I could do that— and like it?
One teammate wasn’t sure at all about the running— she had run her first five-k two months ago. She let the rest of the team in on this about halfway through and blew our minds! Not just that she handled the miles like a champ, but that the call went out for team members, and something in her said “Me! Me! I can! I want to!”. You go girl.
This is some magic, and it’s part of why I love doing athletic things. I can push myself physically and metally, and I can achieve things as a result of that. It’s visible, measurable evidence that applying myself to something I want to do can get me what I want. This feeling spills over into other parts of my life, giving me confidence and ambition. Should I apply for that fellowship? Should I make a plan to go up for promotion? Absolutely.
That thrill of “I did it!” is powerful medicine.