Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

TurtleThey say, (and I have no idea who ‘they’ are but ‘they’ seem to always be wise and full of advice) that newborns bring you plenty of sleepless nights (I actually know who said that… every parent out there who feels it their duty to freak you out before your new and wonderful life begins…. thanks), and that you only start really living once you step outside of your comfort zone.

I appreciate that 2nd piece of wisdom so much more than the former.

So recently I’ve taken on a new challenge in my life and I have to say, it feels fantastic. There are all the nervous feelings that go with it but all in all I know that this is going to be something that propels me to another level in my mind and in my life. Now, once I explain what is it, many of you will be like, ‘Oh, that’s it? Really?’ I mean it’s not like I’m traveling to third world nations in an effort to feed the hungry, aid the sick and nourish a nation. Not even close. I’m just leading a fitness class.

But it’s my first one.

And I was really nervous about it.

While being really excited about it.

But I did it. And now I’m looking forward to the next one.

Flashback a year ago and the chances of me getting up in front  of a group, no matter how big or small was slim to none. I would have shriveled up like a scared turtle that suffers from serious bouts of anxiety. One on one I’m fine, but a group; Dale Carnegie’s books couldn’t even give me enough courage.

But now I’m up there, leading a class and helping women gain strength both physically and mentally. (At least that’s my goal, we’ve only had one class so far.)

The class I’m leading with another instructor (who is awesome) is called Warrior Rising. Our goal is to provide a place, a sanctuary if you will, for women to come together as a group for six weeks and engage in strength training (because nothing is better for your health than building up muscle and increasing your endurance) and yoga (to stretch your body and practice centering your mind and your breathing). It’s a 90 minute class with 45 minutes devoted to each practice. And since no drop-ins’ are allowed, we’re helping to build a community for women that is supportive and motivating.

Sarah Rubin, who is the yoga instructor, and I have been working on this for months and to see it finally come to fruition is a truly wonderful and exciting experience.

So I finally understand why ‘they’ have been promoting this stepping outside your comfort zone thing for so long. It really makes you feel… without sounding too cheesy or too new-agey… purposeful.

If your’e contemplating starting up a fitness program, or you’re nervous to try something new like rock climbing or hiking or running… know that once you do step outside of your comfort zone, you really are able to do the things that you fear most.

Give it a try, at least once, and see the difference it can make for you!

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo