This year, one of my goals has been to take my triathlons to another level competitively and do Olympic/International distance events. To be honest, I had been hesitating on committing to it because of intimidation and some level of fear.

Though this is my 10th year of doing triathlons, the swim has been my biggest nemesis. Last year I did a short race in which I’ve competed 3 times previously, but I got out in Lake Michigan, freaked out, held on to a lifeguard boat for about 10 minutes, then finally swam the distance on the opposite side of the buoys in shallow water to get through it. I was disappointed and it was a telling experience of how much lack of comfort in open water got the best of me.

In past years, I practiced and trained to get through shorter distance triathlons, but this year I really have to push and stretch myself, not just to make it through, but to excel to greater distances and more endurance. Though I’ve been consistently building and having a successful indoor tri season, awaiting warmer weather to transition to outdoor I know I’m not yet ready for a longer open swim. And this is why I have been hesitating on making the actual commitment.

Last week, I was at a point of getting my first Olympic triathlon on the books. As I got to the page to actually submit, I could sense an inner anxiety and really paid attention to what I was feeling. It was a moment of determining and deciding to step out of my comfort zone and go for it or not.

I often say it is in challenging yourself to step out of your box is where you have phenomenal growth. There are things we think to do, we dream of, we desire, and at times may be challenging, not seem feasible, maybe not even make sense, however, it is in stepping out of what holds us back where we experience incredible breakthroughs. Be it starting a business, changing a career, entering a new relationship, relocating to a new place, sharing something deeply personal with someone from which you’ve been holding back, or embarking on a personal goal; there are various things we tell ourselves or feel that will keep us from actually doing it. They all are usually wrapped up in some level of fear, insecurity, not knowing what will happen, doubt, allowing our past or present situation to outshine what could be our greatest possibilities.

I’m sharing this because we all experience this at various times in our lives and at those pinnacle moments can often be what determines the difference between living small, mediocre, and ordinary lives, or creating remarkable and extraordinary lives and experiences that you never thought possible.

Well, I went ahead and have my first Olympic triathlon scheduled for June 2016 (and I plan to have another in August). I hope that if in reading this you find that you have been leery or holding back from something, stop playing it safe and being comfortable. Challenge yourself to step out and take that leap, so that you may find yourself experiencing a journey and a life beyond anything you could have imagined.

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