Get Comfortable Being uncomfortable
Updated: Apr 30, 2021
Facing rather than fearing discomfort
“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!” When I hear this saying, I immediately think of watching US celebrity fitness trainer Jilian Michaels shouting through the TV screen as I tried to keep up during one of her exercise videos. As much as I despised hearing her words in those moments, she always had a point: If I wanted to get stronger and fitter, I had better get used to pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
In light of the murder of George Flyod and others, the surge of headlines highlighting historical and current injustices towards Black people all over the world, and new conversations that are happening around racism and White privilege, emotions are high, hearts are broken, tempers are fired up, egos are on the defense , and even avoidance and helplessness are being slipped into. It’s not comfortable.
My own “workout” at this time is considering, how can I face discomfort rather than fear it? How can I exercise my mind through educating myself better? How can I strengthen my heart by practicing more humility and compassion? Just as some people take that dreaded “before” photo at the beginning of their exercise journey so that they can see themselves lights on with nothing to hide behind , how can I look honestly at myself and my privilege? Beyond merely thinking of my goals for improvement, what real actions do I need to take?
Discomfort is not an excuse for inaction. I often tell my students that our classes don’t get easier over time. Sure you might know more technical moves, but once you are more familiar, that’s when you REALLY can push yourself, work, and sweat like never before. Just as fitness is a journey and you never arrive at that day when you get to say, “Ok I’m done, I’m fit , now I’ll never have to exercise again,” the work to make ourselves and our world better doesn’t ever stop.
I hope that you continue to take care of your health and take comfort in the joy that dance brings so many of us in even the most challenging, painful, and uncomfortable of times. My 8th virtual Zumba class will be available this week Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so that you have additional times to dance wherever you are in the world.