Deal with Health: Pushing previous bodily and psychological boundaries


Are you thinking of copying out a fitness goal idea? Don’t knock until you try!

Do you ever write something off as impossible or just ignore it because something inside of us said, “We have never done this before, so why bother?”

I am sure we have all done it at some point in our lives. We protect ourselves from failure by not trying. It’s safe and familiar. We usually only become aware of this when we are confronted with these fears, goals and dreams – and overcome them. We look back and wonder why it took us so long to take the first step to surpass something we have wished for for so long.

In my short time here on earth, I realized that if I couldn’t learn to take the small steps, would I ever be able to take the big steps? I believe it is critical to our mental, physical, and spiritual success to force ourselves out of those comfort zones to see growth.

Ten weeks ago I started a virtual triathlon training program with friends and colleagues at the Plant City Family YMCA. Now everyone who knows me knows that I don’t like anything remotely related to swimming or cycling. The very thought of swimming a length of pool or even sitting on a bike made me wince – which I know sounds dramatic, but it’s the truth. Growing up my mental hardship ran its base, but I felt comfortable and safe. I wanted to stick with what I knew. Why did I sell myself briefly?

We’re all afraid to try something new, whether we want to admit it or not. With the encouragement and support of those around me, I have dedicated myself to running, cycling, and swimming for 12 weeks. Little did I know that this program would change the way I think and my love of fitness for the better.

I’ll admit the first two weeks were tough, but your abilities are limitless once you get out of your comfort zone. I loved challenging my body to do something it had never done before. It gave me more confidence in my physical abilities than I could have imagined. I had mentally changed from thinking “I can’t” to thinking “I can”.

Now, 10 weeks later, I can confidently say that I have a newfound love for swimming and cycling and I can’t wait to start my next workout.

Are you nervous about starting something new? Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Follow a plan. Find a plan that fits your schedule and stick to it. We all know that one of the hardest parts of starting a physical challenge is figuring out how you’re going to create it. Take out the hard part instead of creating it yourself. Find a plan you like and set a start and end date.
  2. Surround yourself with uplifting and like-minded people. Have you ever heard the saying “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”? Be aware of who you are spending your time with. It could be the difference between failure and success.
  3. Pay attention to the price. How much do you want it Try to look at the bigger picture. Purposely, remember this goal every day and don’t lose sight of it.

However, I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is, “Don’t knock until you try.”

My challenge for you this year is to choose one thing that you have written off as something you cannot and / or never will and to try. Who knows – you might surprise yourself!

Hannah Franklin is the Wellness Director at the Plant City Family YMCA.