On my flight back from a recent business trip, I reached Boston and had to change planes for the final leg up to Portland. I hadn’t paid much attention when making my reservations, so was a little surprised when I saw that the plane we’d be taking for the final leg was a small five-seater and that the open cockpit meant we’d be able to watch the pilots in action. I was definitely guaranteed a window seat. The flight was thankfully uneventful, and what struck me most was that I couldn’t have even gotten on the plane ten years ago. I had too much anxiety about flying.
I had anxiety about a lot of things, but in the last ten years I’ve realized that the more I push myself beyond my comfort zone and challenge myself the more my fears ease.
Comfort zones act like our friend, but they’re really not. They’re the frenemy who holds you back. I’m not saying I’ve swung to the other extreme of becoming an adrenaline junkie and only doing things that make me uncomfortable. It’s about finding the balance. I still love hanging in my comfort zone as much as the next person but now I push myself out on occasion and take more risks. I’ve never been happier.
So how to challenge myself this year?
My husband and I love to hike. You’ll find us on the trails most weekends, but as a friend recently pointed out when my husband repeatedly answered no to his questions about whether we hiked mountains or other challenging trails, we’re really more brisk walkers than hikers. When we hit an incline of even the smallest grade, it’s a challenge for me. I think it’s time to work on this limitation.
Since I love challenges (hello, blogging a to z), finding a hiking related challenge seems like the perfect fit. I’m intrigued by the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit. For this challenge, you need to hike six smaller mountains in the Moosehead Lake region of Maine.
I found a great summary of the distance and elevation of the mountains on The Maine Highlands1 website which I re-ordered by distance:
Number Four Mountain
3.3 miles round trip / Ascent 1,373’ / End Elevation 2,890’
3.5 miles round trip / Ascent 962’ / End Elevation 1, 923’
3.8 miles round trip / Ascent 737’ / End Elevation 1,450’
Big Moose Mountain
4 miles round trip / Ascent 1,647’ / End Elevation 3,196’
6.3 miles round trip / Ascent 897’ / End Elevation 2,290’
6.5 miles round trip / Ascent 1,909’ / End Elevation 3,644’
While it has taken us four years to make it through the Maine Beer Trail, this challenge might take us even longer, as this part of Maine is not close to where we live. There will be some planning involved. But, as I mentioned in my N Post, Planning is one of my favorite parts of new experiences.
Why does this bring me bliss? I’ll admit in the moment risk taking isn’t necessarily blissful. It can be scary, challenging, overwhelming and a host of negative emotions but when you get to the other side and accomplish something amazing then you get to the bliss. As I talked about in my theme reveal post, I am most afraid of not making forward progress on focusing on those things that bring me true joy. I can’t get there without taking risks.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
1“Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit: The Maine Highlands.” The Maine Highlands Regional Tourism, themainehighlands.com/story/moosehead-pinnacle-pursuit.
I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2020. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Bliss. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.