How the turn-tables. - Michael Scott - Heather Plumb

The learn something new category is one that people tend to shy away from when I ask them to write for it. Typically, they'll tell me they aren't an expert, and they don't want to miss lead people. For me, the only way to learn is to teach another, and if you are wrong along the way, admit it and find the better answer. That's all any of us can do, learn, fail, and try again.

This is one of the main themes in my novel, The Human Zoo. One of the main characters, Priya, actually enjoys running. She also is self-taught and realizes that she has something to teach others.

I hope you learn something about comfort zones and a technique to try to bust out of them in today's post. The posts in these categories are no way to convince you or prove to you that these people know everything. It's merely their personal experience while learning about something new. Whether that is understanding where your comfort zones lie or how to break out of them.

Please remember likes, comments, and shares are always welcomed and appreciated. I request that this is done with respect since all of the shared stories here are personal and sentimental to the people that write them.

The night Kasey reached out to ask me to write a piece for her blog, my first thought was a big 'ole "nope."

I am a reader, not a writer.

I have nothing interesting to say.

I will embarrass myself.

The thought of me putting something out there for others to read makes me very uncomfortable. Everyone will think it's dumb.

Plus, I know she has many other friends who are probably more than willing to dig deep into their souls and express their great ideas through writing for the world to see.

My decision was made. I politely responded with a "Cool! I'll think about it," and returned to TikTok binging or whatever I was doing at the time, knowing full well it was a no for me (Sorry, Kasey. Don't worry- I obviously will change my mind because here I am).

Four days later, I got the text. "Hi!! Did you decide if you felt comfortable writing a blog post for me?"

Shit. Ugh, she really wants me to do this.

The negative thoughts returned in the form of a tidal wave. What the hell do I have to say worth anyone's time?

Flash forward to Saturday. I had just finished up my long, winter-run with Michelle Obama motivating the shit out of me with her audiobook. I plug in my Christmas lights (I know, it's almost February), light a candle, and dip into a warm bubble bath to regain feeling in my cold fingers and toes.

Do you remember that show, "Run's House?" Rev Run (AKA Joesph Simmons, AKA former Run-D.M.C. rapper) would end each episode like this: He'd lounge in his tub with an absurd amount of bubbles and his handy-dandy BlackBerry, on which he would be posting some of his profound contemplations about life. To this day, I don't remember a thing he said, but trust me, it was * chef's kiss* on point. Anyways, I guess you could say I had a Rev Run moment (and an honorable mention to the new serotonin released from my run). All of the dots connected, and the idea fell into my lap (bathtub?).

I'd like to share my journey of how running has shaped me and pushed me out of my "comfort zone." Ironically, I will do this through the form of writing, which, as you all know by now, is pretty uncomfy for me *cue the slow jazz.*

Growing up, I loved my family, my home, and my friends. My high school grades ranged from A's - C's, the occasional D (probably in math). I swam for four years on the high school swim team, where I went through the motions, but you won't find my name on the record board. When it came time to look for colleges, I literally waited until November of my Senior year. It was a task I was dreading because I was content with how things were, and I absolutely hated change. This was actually a trait I possessed at the time, known by many who are close to me. I picked Bowling Green State University because it was close(ish) and reminded me of my hometown. My boyfriend, Logan, of 4 years at the time, planned to attend the same college as me; Life was good. I was content and comfortable. (Disclaimer: Absolutely no regrets to anything above. I made some of my life-long best friends at BGSU and married the love of my life, Logan, today).

Moving away to college, I went through the typical new experiences of "finding myself" and slowly started to come out of my shell. I joined some clubs, made new friends, probably partied too much, and decided to actually put forth my best effort into my studies, unlike high school days. Things really started to shift for me when my best friend from BG randomly texted me one July when we were back at home and asked, "Hey, do you want to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) with me?"

Um. What? Excuse me? Did you mean to text me? Like Kasey asking me to write for her, those tidal waves of thoughts came crashing down. The only running I had done up to this point was some sporadic treadmill workouts and the Color Run 5k (3.1 miles) in Columbus, where we run-walked, coughed up colorful powder, and made our merry way to the finish line.

I remember having the text all typed out to tell Kristina.

Thanks, but no thanks.

It sounds too hard.