The thing about challenges is that they do exactly what it says on the tin! They challenge you, and in challenging yourself your gain access to parts of yourself that you might not otherwise have managed to. Anything that makes us push forward or strive requires us to reach down inside and get that little bit more.
I walked up Snowdon on the weekend. I had never done it before and it was wonderful. It was hard, but I had trained for it, made sure I was fit enough – which I was (just!) But the payback for pushing myself was to get to stand on the top of a mountain and look out across the world.
Humans are forever wanting to climb up things, or across things or go faster or higher. Often I write about the need to just appreciate where you are, not to judge yourself against other, delight in the present, but sometimes a challenge is a wonderful thing. Sometimes it is great to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that tests you, that excites you, that challenges you.
Remember the great saying about comfort zones? “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” It’s true. I’m not advocating pushing yourself wildly out of your safe place, but the odd little toes dipped in the water will allow you to stretch out, without over-stepping the mark. Just remember it’s your challenge, not anyone else’s. Don’t ever judge your achievements against anyone else. Your mountain may be small, but it doesn’t stop it being a mountain. Nothing anyone else does deflects from your triumphs.
My delight in my ability to climb up and down Snowdon was not diminished by being overtaken by men running up and down – each to their own…