Updated: Aug 4, 2019
As many of you know, a couple weeks ago I put on my jet setting shoes and traveled to the East Coast for the New Jersey Spartan race. Many people asked me why I would travel so far just for a race and the answer is WHY NOT? As cliche as it is, if you want to accomplish things that you never thought you could, then you need to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself in new ways. While the competition in Hawaii is fierce, the level of competition on the mainland is even higher, so I knew I needed to step up and throw myself into an uncomfortable situation. I want to share one thing that impressed me the most. I arrived at New York’s JFK airport and caught a taxi to a friend’s house in Brooklyn. He was still at work, so I decided to go for a short jog to stretch my legs after sitting on the plane for ten hours. I hadn’t been to New York for many years, but I forgot that even with millions of people crammed into a VERY large city, you can still find a park, playground, or field where people are running, working out, playing, and exercising. It was lunchtime on a weekday, but the park was packed with people playing soccer, running laps, and doing pull-ups/push-ups on the bars. The following day I went to a mid-day yoga class. While I looked out the window and could see a Jewish Synagog and hear the clutter-clatter of the subway train as it passed by, over 30 people crammed into this yoga studio. It made me happy to see that even in the busiest city in the world, where people are known to work until they drop; they still made exercise and having fun a priority. So often I hear that people can’t find time to squeeze a workout into their busy schedule; but if people of New York can figure it out, then I think anyone can! Yes, work is important and you need to stick to your commitments so your boss doesn't chew you out; but if you don’t take care of your body, both physically and mentally, then it will be even harder to do well in other aspects of your life. While I was able to pull off 12th place overall, I had hoped for a better result. This definitely opened my eyes as to what this sport has become and the level of competition that is out there. Some of the other racers were sponsored by big time running brands, or part of a collegiate team; but others who finished in the top 5 were also over 40 years old and still killing it! The reason I love this sport is not only because it challenges me in ways I can’t imagine; I see how it challenges others. I saw people out there that you would never expect to see doing something like this. Pushing themselves out of their comfort zone in order to prove they are capable of so much more than a life of sitting behind a desk. So while running through the mud and getting scraped up may not be for you; I challenge you to at least step out of your comfort zone and do something that you never expected yourself to do. Travel to a new city and experience new things. Scare yourself by doing something different and you may scare yourself even more when you find out you really like it!