Daily life for most, including myself, has gotten too easy. We spend the majority of our time in climate controlled houses, offices, and cars. Even worse most of that time is spend staring at some type of screen. I’m writing this at a stand up desk, so I’m way healthier. (Not so much). I can order pizza from my phone in 20 seconds. I can buy anything I desire, without leaving my home. I can binge watch hours of programs, and I don’t have to go to the movie store. Food is prepackaged, pre-cut, and ready in one easy step. Don’t get me wrong most of these conveniences are awesome. My monkey brain is always seeking to find pleasure and avoid discomfort.
Have these conveniences of modern life made life too easy? Are all getting soft mentally and physically? I would argue yes, but who cares what I think. Look at your own life, and think, “I am too comfortable, too often?” If the answer is yes, find a way to break away from the comforts of daily life, and find a challenge to overcome.
Let’s tie this into triathlon or any other challenge. Find a new challenge that will push you out of the comfort zone, and accomplish something meaningful to you. From great struggle comes great reward. This is the main reason I participate in the endurance events. When I know I am pushing my limits in training or a race, I feel most alive. I am using all of my will to overcome a challenge, and I come out stronger on the other side.
Participation in triathlon, running races, and obstacle races has increased dramatically in the past 5 years. I think people are craving that sense of accomplishment and adventure that comes from struggle. They spend most of their week sitting at a desk, under mental stress. On the weekend they want to get outside and release the negative energy through some strenuous physical activity. As humans we are meant to move under our own power, and grow through resistance and recovery.
Shared struggle is also a great way to bond people together. Have you ever done a hard group workout, and when its over everyone has something in common. We can empathize with their struggle, and relate to that person more closely. If you meet anyone who does the same type of events as you, you will instantly bond over the experience.
A small helpings of discomfort can add up to a more robust life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to work or the grocery store. Race your kids in the street. (My favorite). Grow some of your own food. Lift something heavy. Sign up for an event.
If triathlon is a challenge you would like to incorporate in your new uncomfortable life,. check out the start page