Monday, 27 June 2016

HOW TO STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE (AND WHY YOU SHOULD!)

When it comes to comfort zones, I would say mine is pretty vast. I like to think I'm pretty adventurous, which could be down to a combination of growing up with two big brothers and my inquisitive (is that the right word?!) personality. Basically, I am the type of girl that would rather a 'oh well' than a 'what if?'

When an email dropped into my inbox at work about the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, I thought why not?! Hiking can't be THAT hard, and I always see the VS models and Kardashians uploading photos of them hiking up Runyon Canyon on Instagram so I thought I would give it a go. School boy error- I only researched the route AFTER I had signed up, but still, the 26 miles and 12 hour ETA still didn't phase me.

All the gear and no idea springs to mind
The only training I did was when I climbed Mount Snowden with some friends from my gym. It took 5 hours and I hated every second. Little did I know that would be the tip of the iceberg when it came to the Three Peaks...!!!


Literally every path was like this- long, never-ending with uneven ground. The first couple of hours were fine- our group morale was high, the sun was shining, and according to our guide, we had got the hardest part of the challenge out the way. When we reached the summit of Pen-Y-Ghent (peak 2) in record timing of 5 hours, I was on top of the world (literally!)

Ingleborough- DONE
Pen-Y-Ghent- DONE
Little did I know that the hardest part was yet to come. A looooooooooooong, draining, boring walk to peak number 3 started to suck the life out of me, and by hour number 7, I could feel my legs starting to seize up. We were promised a little rest stop where tea, coffee and cake would be provided before we reached the base of Whernside. The way our guide described it I was expecting Betty's Tea Rooms- so you can imagine my face when I saw that it was Tesco basics Swiss Roll in vanilla or chocolate. I'll stick to my sandwich, thanks. And I KNOW that sounds really ungrateful but after 8 hours of constant walking I could have done with something a little more indulgent than a bloody swiss roll.

The last peak was definitely the hardest, most gruelling 4 hours of my life. I felt like I had lost about 6 toenails, my hands had swollen up to Elephant Man status, I was soaked to the core and physically exhausted. The worst part was that even if I wanted to quit, I couldn't, because I would still have to walk back down the mountain. I am genuinely not joking when I say that I was contemplating breaking my own leg so that I could be airlifted back to civilisation and escape the absolute hell on earth that I was currently trapped in. Note the absence of a smiley 'we reached the summit!' photo of peak 3- by this point our mood had rapidly deteriorated and we were on a mission to get to the finish.

11 hours in. At this point I was starting to hallucinate that I could see Jess' car and she was going to drive me home to the warm, safe mountain-free haven that was my bedroom. But no. I had a little cry in the rain and just forced myself to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other till it was done.

HALLELUJAH

Finishing time: 11 hours 44 mins. 11 hours and 44 minutes of pure hell. Yeah, I am glad I have done it, but I can safely say I never want to see another pair of hiking boots, or hear the rustle of waterproof trousers again for the foreseeable future.

Whilst I was lying in bed on Sunday, feeling as though my whole entire body had turned to concrete and I would never walk again, it really got me thinking. The Three Peaks Challenge really threw me out of my comfort zone, and even though I wanted to, I didn’t give up. It’s inspired me to set myself more challenges, to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. Yeah, it was an absolute KILLER, but the sense of accomplishment at the finish line was indescribable. In fact, I’m already planning my next challenge- the 10km Total Warrior in September!


Tips for stepping out of your comfort zone:
  • Sign up for an event that you wouldn’t usually take part in
  • Enter with a group so you can motivate each other
  • Challenge yourself- whether it be physically, mentally, or both!
  • Practice makes perfect! Put together a training regime and make sure you stick to it (I learnt this the hard way)
  • Don’t doubt yourself! It’s mind over matter
  • Reward yourself for completing the challenge



When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? I hope this post has inspired you to challenge yourself!

5 comments:

  1. Ahh, well done girl! The closest Ive ever come to that is walking down Snowden when my parents forced me to at age 11. Think its put me off forever! Well done to you :) x

    Sarah | sarahdeluxe.com

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    1. It was the worst day of my life- how can ANYBODY do that for fun?!
      Thanks Sarah!

      Claudia xx

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  2. I was with you on the walk and I think you summed up my day exactly above! My blisters developed blisters! Congratulations to you on finishing - and in good time too. Jason

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    1. Ahh hi Jason! Thanks for commenting! I've just about regained consciousness in my legs- NEVER again! Congrats to you too :)
      Claudia xx

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  3. Climbing Snowden is on my bucket list for this year! I climbed it when I was in year 6 but have recently been wanting to climb it again...this post reminded me!! Such lovely photos and suuuuuch a great thing to do with friends. Gonna try and rally some troupes of my own!

    Congratulations lovely lady! Hopefully I'll have my own certificate soon....

    Katie xx ¦ La Coco Noire

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