2nd Tuesday of Lent- Getting out of your comfort zone

Ok, Ok, I admit it. I haven’t been the best about blogging everyday but I am getting better. I’ll be honest, sometimes I feel like I haven’t gotten my message from the Spirit and I figure it’s better to not write anything than to write a bunch of dribble.

Today I took a Spinning class with Francis at the Y. (If you have never done Spinning, I encourage you to try… it’s a great, low impact workout. You might be a little saddle sore after your first few classes, but it gets better!) Anyway, Francis is a fantastic Spin instructor. Her rides are set to good music and she pushes you. Today was a particularily tough ride… lots of hills (high resistance) and lots of speed. The goal of the ride was strength and speed work. About 40 minutes into the 60 minute class, Francis started to tell us to “get out of your comfort zone.” That’s almost a Francis motto and I am sure that it’s used by personal trainers the world over. Why?

Let’s think about this. If you are pushing a certain weight or running at a certain speed or swimming on a certain pace and you are feeling good and groovy and thinking to yourself “Hey I could do this all day!” You are in your comfort zone. You are not going to get any stronger or faster by hanging out in the comfort zone because your body has adapted to the workload and doesn’t have to work as hard (translation: burn more calories) to do the workout. But man, does it stink to push yourself out of that comfort zone. It hurts, your breathing accelerates, your mind starts saying stuff like “you can’t do this.” You know what… You’re right. If you think you can’t do something, you won’t. If you KNOW you can do something, you will.

Sometimes we stay in the comfort zone of our prayer life. We are afraid to push the envelope a bit and work a little harder. We stick to our “Our Fathers” and “Hail, Marys” and attend Mass only on Sundays, etc, etc. Why? Is it fear of failure? Fear of not knowing what to do? I invite you all to challenge yourself in your prayer life. Say the Divine Mercy Chaplet, go to Adoration, meet me at Church this Friday at 7 to do the Stations of the Cross. If you are used to traditional prayers, try praying extemporaneously. If you are used to telling God whatever comes to you, try a time-honored prayer like “The Angelus” or the “Anima Christi” (I heart the Anima Christi… especially in Latin!)

Get out of your comfort zone in your home as well. For a while I have wanted to put an image of Divine Mercy in my home but I resisted because my husband is not on the same path as I am, spiritually, and I didn’t want to make him feel weird to walk in to see Jesus greeting him. But this weekend, I bought one and it’s proudly displayed under our Crucifix in out foyer. I got out of my comfort zone and I am displaying for all to see that a Catholic Family lives here and that we are headed by Christ. That act took me out of my comfort zone because I always felt that the home should be equal parts him and her as far as decorating, but since Christ is such a large part of my life, why would I allow that part to be censored?

Look within and decide where your comfort zones lie and challenge them. Only good can come of it as it is only by challenging the self do we grow.

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