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Get Out of Your Comfort Zone in the New Year

by Ryan Burgess

“Unless we go beyond what we’ve already mastered, we will not grow.”

Take a minute, and re-read that quote. Think about those words, and think about what they mean to you. Now ask yourself, “Am I truly doing everything in my power to go beyond what I already know?”

Too much of our society these days is based on one word: comfort. We wake up in the morning and climb out of our doctor approved comfortable bed to eat our conveniently microwavable breakfast in our scientifically designed, ergonomically correct chair. We go from there to our car, sitting down again in our seat with 37 different positions, designed for, well, optimum comfort. We spend the rest of our day comfortably sitting at our desk and pecking away at the computer (now before you shout and scream about how “uncomfortable” that can actually be, compared to plowing a field or digging a ditch, it seems pretty cush to this guy). We leave the office, head back to the car, where we hit up the drive-thru for dinner, because let’s face it, all those creature comforts have added up to a pretty exhausting day, so we’re WAY to tired to actually prepare and cook our dinner.

When you look at what that “comfortable” lifestyle has done, when you think about the lack of physical activity, and the poor nutritional choices that have been conveniently placed along the way, is anybody really surprised that we have an obesity problem in this country? If you ask me, there’s only one way to right the ship and start heading in the appropriate direction… by rolling up our sleeves, facing the challenge head on, and actually working towards changing our behaviors!

Everyone is quick to make a resolution this time of year. The favorites are always along the lines of “I want to lose weight” or “I want to quit [insert bad habit here]”. The problem is this comfortable lifestyle we have grown accustomed to has made us as a society, in my opinion, “soft”. When trying to make positive change, at the first sign of discomfort we throw our hands up in the air, say “This is too hard”, and revert back to the easy, more comfortable way of doing things. You simply cannot and will not succeed without pushing yourself beyond your current limits! One of my old football coaches always used to say, “The true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results each and every time”. When achieving any of your typical New Year’s Resolutions, you can’t just do things the way you have been and expect results. You’re going to have to get those hands dirty and actually be willing to work for what you want.

So here is my challenge to you: get out of your own personal comfort zone in this new year! Challenge yourself mentally and physically, and you will without a doubt reap the rewards. Explore your surroundings, learn something new, try something different, and whatever you do, don’t sit around and wait for it to happen, Make It Happen! If you’re a Coach or Trainer, make a promise with yourself that you will push your clients and athletes beyond what they themselves thought they were capable of, and you will be amazed at the results that are actually achievable when everyone is willing to put in a little good old fashioned hard work!

Ryan Burgess is a Strength & Conditioning Coach and the Director of Football development at Fitness Quest 10. He enjoys working with and training people from all walks of life and lives to motivate, educate, and inspire people to work hard, persevere, follow their heart and pursue their dreams. He believes firmly in the quote “Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart is in it, and live the phrase ‘the sky’s the limit’”.

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