"Comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, then a master. And then it becomes a tamer, and with a hook and whip it makes puppets of your larger desires." Kahlil Gibran, poet philosopher
the course of the last few years, I have had more than my fair share of
comments from other people on the insanity of my running or how crazy I
am. Usually these words are coupled with ‘Why would someone want to
run? or train for a marathon'...yet...most of the time these words are
uttered by those who dwell in the warmth of their own cocooned visions
of ease and contentment. Before I stepped out of my own cocoon, fifteen
years ago, I held to the same feelings. To see a runner, seemingly
struggling along a path or the side of the road, at least to me back
then was a very crazy sight. The same thoughts would race through my
mind as I eased past them in the comforts of my air conditioned
car...’why would anyone want to do that to themselves?’. Yet, here I
stand, today, close to fifteen thousand miles later...a runner. Mind you,
not an elite runner nor anyone famous or signed by Nike with some
enormous million dollar contract. Just an average Joe runner, with a
desire to stay out of the comfort zone of life.
think, it is here and why I run. It is the one thing that I can do that
can and will break up the monotony of my daily ritual. While stating the
obvious, Catherine Pulsifer said, , “If you remain in your comfort zone you will not go any further.”
About fifteen years ago, I felt the same as those who speak to me now.
After wrestling in high school and being in relatively good shape, life
happens, and you leave the world of dreams for the rat race of life. The
ease of being sheltered in the ‘cares of this world’ always made it
easy to excuse myself out of doing anything, especially with anything
that might involve cracking through the shell of my cocoon of comfort.
Yet, the one thing we cannot stop, though we would like to, ultimately
catches up to each of us...that elusive thing called, ‘time’. The ‘has
been’ years of wrestling echoed deep within the corridors of my mind,
always reminding of what I once was...wrestling practice, running,
cutting weight and lifting weights were a daily routine throughout my
high school years. Fit and in shape, I could go out and run an eight
miler with friends on the cross country team without a problem. BUT,
like I said, life has a way of catching up with you or is it? leaves you
behind if you let it! Somewhere between the miraculous event of the
birth of my first born baby girl and my ever expanding waist line (at
the age of 37, I was rapidly closing in on 180 pounds), I woke up. Now
mind you, much of this began happening as a mental thing, tormenting me on a
daily basis. Deep inside, I knew I had to do something and yes, there
was always those inner voices calling me back into the ‘safety’ of my
T. Harv Eker said it this way, “Nobody
ever died of discomfort, yet living in the name of comfort has killed
more ideas, more opportunities, more actions, and more growth than
everything else combined. Comfort kills!” So, in the spring of
nineteen ninety-eight, I did what most people with disgruntled feelings
do...I bought a treadmill! Then, after purchasing this fine hi-tech
treadmill, I did what most people do...not much. I ran on it a few times
and then turned my beautiful treadmill into a corner coat rack in the
laundry room! For two years, that treadmill talked to me. Every time I
walked past the treadmill, it would say very mean things to me. It would
taunt me. It would laugh at me. It would remind me of how I had
foolishly spent my money. But more importantly, it would always remind
me of how I remained steadfast and unmovable in my comfort zone.
Finally, after two years of listening to the rude speech and taunts of
my treadmill, I decided enough was enough! And maybe that’s where people
have got to get to before they do something. You have to get to the
place where you are sick and tired of being sick tired of being sick and
tired, and you just hope you’re not too close to death by the time you
feel this way. And so I began to run. It wasn’t long and it wasn’t fast
by any means, but slowly and incrementally, I began to run. And you know
what??? I liked it. I liked it so much, that I have completed myriad of
road races, eleven marathons, and a fifty mile ultra marathon on my
So today, I want you to know, the
guest you have allowed into your home is not your friend. He’s a moocher
of your most valuable commodity...TIME. I encourage you to kick this
life sucker out of your home. You never know what you will see when you
allow a crack of light break through the walls of your cocoon!
My Comfort Zone - A Poem
I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn't fail.
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.
I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much.
I said I didn't care for things like commission checks and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.
I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.
If you're in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile; success is there for you!