Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone

It’s not easy to step out onto the edge. There’s something about that place if transition from one state of being to the next that really gets our attention. We get butterflies in our stomachs and our knees begin to tremble. We can feel our hearts pounding as adrenaline surges through our veins. That’s the feeling I would have during a repelling exercise or leaping from the tall cliffs into the water. In my young mind I knew that this is what it felt like to fly. Fear, excitement and recklessness all come together to form the experience. When I was a kid I had the opportunity to spend some one on one time with some of the Blue Angels flight team and I like the way one of the pilots described this feeling. He said that “There’s no difference between the thrill of flying and the fear of falling.” His point was that it’s in overcoming your desire to remain comfortable with your circumstances that we become more than we was yesterday.

It doesn’t have to be piloting the latest and hottest high performance jet at beyond the speed of sound. It doesn’t even have to be leaping into water or sliding down a cliff on a rope. (In fact especially not the cliff in the feature image. There’s no water under the rocks here and it’s not a legal place to repell from.) It could be as simple as deciding to strike up a conversation with that person who you’re interested in or starting a blog where you share your deepest thoughts with the world. Whatever it is know that when you overcome that shaky feeling that this is what it’s like to fly.

Down Is Easy

I grew up playing on cliffs similar to the one in the feature image above. (Sorry mom, I know you didn’t want me to. ). In those days I could free climb fairly well and would spend all day sitting on the edge and watching animals play in the valley below. Later in my late teens I went on my first organized mounteering exercise with the JROTC. When mom asked if I would jump off of a cliff because my friends did apparently the answer was yes. We spent all day repelling to the bottom and then climbing back up to do it again. On one trip back to the top my friend, Bobby, stopped to catch his breath and said “Down is easy but up is hard.” That little bit of profound observation has stuck with me for my entire life and the reason why is because of what he said next. “I have to keep climbing because home is on the other side of this mountain.”

Anything can become that steep mountain in our lives. And, it’s easy to give up halfway through a difficult journey. But the journey isn’t over until you have made it home again. It’s also okay to stop and catch your breath but don’t make your home there because there’s so much waiting for you at the top. Dig in deep within yourself and find that strength that I know you possess. Find handholds and footholds wherever you can and just keep going. Mountains are climbed one foot or even one inch at a time.

Tonight’s image was taken in Summerville Lake when it’s at winter pool. The cliff overhang is just a few feet off the surface of the water for most of year.