I consider myself an adventurous person and like to try new things, but when it comes to testing my physical endurance, I'm the queen of staying in the box. Looking back, I think I've hesitated at challenging myself because of my terrible year-round allergies or exertion asthma that I suffered from as a child—being told, "Don't run" or "Stay calm" can put a real damper on physical activity.
However, my life coach, Kate Larsen, says I shouldn't worry about why I do or don't do something, but rather focus on making an effort to change my habits, and recently I’ve started to push myself in ways I never have before physically. After all, stepping out of my fitness comfort zone may be incredibly challenging, but it's a key factor in losing weight. (Have you ever heard the saying "What doesn't challenge you, doesn't change you?") Now I feel like nothing can stop me.
My change in attitude came thanks to Kate and a couple of recent vacations where I realized how inactive I am in my daily life. The first day that I was on vacation, I reached 10,000 steps, and one day crested 20,000 steps.
I challenged myself to keep up that activity level when my trip was over, and last week I finally hit my first 10,000 steps at home. I stayed active around the house and walked and ran around my neighborhood for a half-hour to bump up my distance. I also completed the Get Lucky 7K—despite having to dodge ice patches on the way to the finish line.
RELATED: A race isn't the only way to challenge yourself physically. Try this abs-blasting workout from Anna Kaiser, who's trained Shakira and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Reaching new accomplishments and feeling my body achieve new fitness feats has given me a desire to find out what I'm truly capable of. So I've set the bar even higher: I'm signing up for the Milwaukee Summerfest Rock 'n Sole Run Quarter Marathon on June 15!
I'm excited to have new scenery such as the Milwaukee skyline, Lake Michigan, and a run over the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge, but mostly I’m looking forward to doing something I haven’t done before or even considered. The race is 6.55 miles (that’s farther than a 10K!), and I’ve never run that far in my life. But this year is about shaping me, and I’m going to continue to take on new challenges and push myself out of my cozy comfort zone—nothing can stop me now!