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The Fallible Man

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A Different Kind of Man a different kind of Lifestyle

  • Writer's pictureThe Fallible Man

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

10 miles and thousands of feet of elevations changes over that mileage we stared up at the Whistler Olympic Ski jump. It had been raining for hours already and people were being taken off the course in solar blankets and treated for hyperthermia. It was unseasonably cold and we were incredibly out of shape and under prepared for the challenges we were facing. Every thing hurt so bad that being numb was a hidden blessing. There were emotional breakdowns as we fought our own fears and doubts about our choice to take this on. What were we thinking? This is one of the hardest courses in North America and we were beginners, turns out the course was longer than expected too. Everything about this moment sucked.

We stared at the ski jump and realized the course hiked right up the side of it. At this point Dave and I parted ways, his heart was willing but his body was done and we were concerned about his physical safety. If he pushed any further it could have severe or even dire consequences based on his health at the time. Zeke and I finished the rest of it and it sucked at a whole new level of sucking. None of us were prepared for what we stepped into that day. Zeke was in better shape but it was even a struggle for him and we were all worn out and beat up for days to come. It was an experience that change lives forever, but more on that later.

Several years ago I was just pondering ideas that I needed to get out of my head and so I wrote these words to myself in an email and kept them for years.

"Change is Scary and Uncomfortable"

The picture above is my best friend Dave (@commonmanocr) for any of my normal listeners on the podcast or YouTube channel. The picture is from the Seattle Spartan Beast 2022 which is a 21K Obstacle Course Event. 6 years into a life changing journey.

I started Dave on this path back in 2016 and we have run many events together since, but he really took to it. At this point Dave does a dozen plus events a year. I am proud to say that 2 years later Dave went back and conquered that mountain and he did it by himself because neither of us wanted to go back. He however had a point to prove to himself.

At the starting line of that first event together in 2016 they shared 2 pieces of wisdom. "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" and "Get comfortable being uncomfortable" Both thoughts have stuck with us every since because that event was a crazy memory that altered our thinking. Dave embraced the idea of being comfortable at being uncomfortable and his world has never been the same.

With your permission I want to share a few thoughts that I have learned as we have take this journey together that is still going. In fact I am waiting for him as I write this because we are leaving for another race this weekend. He is running it, I am volunteering and driving.

Change is Scary and Uncomfortable

In fact I hear this echo in my head as I encounter people; it comes into my mind as I listen to excuses and helps me be a little more gentle with them. At the time when I wrote this thought down it really struck me because I was just starting to understand the magnitude of truth in this thought for a lot of people. I wrote it to myself with a reminder note telling myself this was something I had to remember because I am not always empathetic when people are resistant to change.

Don't get me wrong, I love routine and schedule, maybe a little too much. I am not a huge fan of spontaneity and am a little annoyed by people who are a little too spontaneous. No offense intended but you guys driving me bananas. Any one who knows me will tell you I am not a huge fan of changing anything. I order the same things at the same restaurants and don't do "new" very often.

While I am not a fan of change it doesn't scare me and only slightly annoys me because I like routine. I excepted change as just part of life a long time ago and now when I am resistant it is a matter of just not liking to upset my routine. I imagine myself a lot like the characters in "Second Hand Lion" one day.

However I have to remind myself because change is terrifying for a lot of people. They play the "What if'..." game and what of their brains right into a frenzy. Oddly 99% of the things we worry about never actually happen, but even knowing that we are terrified to get out of our comfort zones. Dave was resistant to change and still is on some things. We had a lot of debates about doing certain things over the years as he has bravely and sometimes hesitantly moved along his journey of regaining his health. He has moved to a point where he can continue even when scared once he intellectually understands it is good for him. It was a process and now he goes forward even when his fear says "go back!"

Changing your life for the better will be scary and uncomfortable, let me acknowledge that. It will also be worth it.

It is NOT a linear Path

Change never seems to run in a clean straight path and will often lead you down a lot of rabbit trails along the way. Maybe that is part of why it is scary to people; it is never that simple. In fact change is a lot like a DYI home improvement project. You plan, you design, you get everything you need and if you don't go to the hardware store at least 3 more times during the project yo probably did something wrong.

The local hardware store always knows when I am working on a big project at home, because I will be in 6 times in one weekend. (I know I am no alone here)

Learning to enjoy the journey sounds cliche, but it is a huge bonus if you can. Sometimes change is quick and painful and sometimes it is a process. Both versions have their consequences and prices so be careful which way you go with it.

Change is not an Accident

You may not have intended on the catalyst that spurred the change, but it is still a choice of how you react to it. You can have 2 people have identical events occur in their life and yo will have 2 different outcomes. Change requires you to choose to embrace it.

Dave had a rough experience during our first event, I honestly underestimated him at the time and figured never again. Instead he took the experience and began a years long journey to undue the negative affects of 20 years as a desk jockey. He caught a fire and has not only continued but has become an ambassador for change.

You see the same thing with other people with negative experiences in their life. One person lets it drag them down as an excuse forever while another becomes a shining example in the opposite directions.

Neither is by accident, it is a path that is chosen. Change requires an active choice to look at a situation or experience and move in a direction that you think is the correct response. Dave could have had a non reaction. He cold have walked away and said that sucked, oh well and continued his life as it was. Follow his social media, he puts in a lot of effort and he still has good days and rough days. He prioritized what he sees as a positive change and pursues it with actions and thoughts.

Change will Require Perseverance and Grit

You will get tired, you will be uncomfortable and you will want to quit at some point. The tragic thing as most people do quit. Resilience is important and it can be built a number of ways, none of which will be comfortable or fun.

There are a lot of thoughts on this but the punch line comes down to "Do Hard Things!" It is by far the quickest and most effective path to start to build resilience. SO how do you do hard things if you need to work on grit, doesn't doing hard things require grit?

Well, yes, and no.

If you have a good stubborn streak then you can will yourself through lesser hard things to start building your resilience. Like, don't start by jumping into cold showers. Maybe start with keeping your hand in cold water for a while at a time until that becomes easier. Or if you are a really stubborn person like myself then you can go all in and just take you r beatings. It's up to you. It has been more effective for me, but I tend to have 2 speeds, stop and go, so temper it better than I do is my advice.

It requires a Strong WHY

Change, growth, development, whatever you want to call it will test your resolve, it will push you mentally, emotionally and depending on what you are changing physically. The path to success requires a really strong WHY, without one you will fail.

Your why cannot be something that is superficial or it will crumble under pressure. I don't want to reinvent the wheel as they say so I am going to recommend SImon Sinek's Book "Start with Why" It is an incredible book that I highly recommend

To wrap this up let me just say this, change is worth while and the difference between success and failure. Those who are successful invest in changing themselves through personal development and growth. They change because they believe it will add value to their lives by enabling them to do the things they want to. You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Be better tomorrow because of what you do today!


aka The Fallible Man


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