My best friend sparked a wonderful idea one evening over Skype. This week (and future weeks) will be about stepping out of my comfort zone. (I owe you a lot, Ry. Thank you)
First, a little bit of background. I recently found myself becoming complacent. Every day was the same. Wake up. Go to work. Drive home from work. Cook dinner. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat. I knew something needed to change. I never used to be this way. I was the girl who always had something to do, whether it was a sorority event, a dinner, a night out with friends, or an extracurricular activity. Work can drain so much energy and time from our day, causing us to forget to do the things we actually enjoy. Hell, I didn’t even feel like running. And we all know how much I love to run. Clearly, something was wrong.
I started this week off going to the gym after work. I actually ended up running 3 miles each session, so it was easy to transition back into. In my heart though, I knew this wasn’t enough.
My best friend challenged me to do something I had always wanted to do since I moved to Houston, but never found the time or energy for: Pinot’s Palette. Pinot’s Palette is an art studio where you can sign up for a class (for only $35-$45), bring your own bottle of wine or two, and paint a picture with guidance from wonderful artists. I signed up immediately for the next day’s session.
Pinot’s Palette was amazing. It was everything I had hoped for and more. I’ve always thought of myself as having absolutely no artistic ability. I went into the class with an open mind, which is hard to do after a long day of work. But as soon as I started painting, I found myself completely relaxed and focused. For once in my life, I was actually able to focus on one thing, and one thing only: the smooth strokes of paint gliding across my canvas. A wave of emotions washed over me from relaxed and relieved to giddy and proud. When the class ended, my jaw dropped. I looked at this piece of art in front of me and realized… I created this. I felt so proud and accomplished that I promised myself I would sign up for a class at least once a month.
The next day I went to work, still floating on clouds from my painting rendezvous the day before. I suddenly remembered I had purchased a Groupon awhile ago for 10 sessions of bikram yoga. I hastily pulled the Groupon out of my planner and checked for an expiration date. March 26, 2012. Perfect. I had over a month to use it.
I bopped over to yogaOne studio after work that day and completed my first 90 minute bikram yoga session. Yes, it was tough. Yes, I had buckets of sweat pouring out of me. And yes, I was completely and utterly exhausted. My legs and arms were shaking and fatigued. My contacts were dry and stuck to my eyes. My breath was shallow and my skin was covered in thick, sticky sweat. But I felt so healthy, powerful, and focused within my mind and soul, that it didn’t matter. I had found the old Kristen, and that was worth everything I had just put myself through.
I know it may be frightening to step out of your comfort zone. Maybe there is a fear of doing something alone, or an uncertainty of what lies ahead. Maybe you don’t know what kinds of things you want to experience or even where to start. All I can say is once you begin, it’s impossible not to continue. And that’s the best part.