Walking Up the Big Darn Hill and Out of the Comfort Zone

Since I’ve been actively trying to get moving a little more this year and escape the existence of a couch potato, I’ve been trying to take a lot more walks through our neighborhood.

When you leave our house, you have two choices.

You can turn to the left, and very shortly you’ll come to the end of the street and to a busy road with no sidewalks. It’s not exactly safe to walk on. This route I try to avoid.

You can turn to the right and go down a steep hill further into the neighborhood.

It’s a lovely little neighborhood. There isn’t much traffic because there’s only one way in or out. The yards are mostly big and wooded. The neighbors are friendly. It’s inviting to take a walk through the neighborhood, except that you know that you’ll end up walking up that big darn hill at the end.

The first part of a walk is easy, as you head down the hill. There’s a spring in your step. That makes it easy to head up the next little hill and on into the flatter parts of the neighborhood. Eventually, you have to turn around and come back and struggle up the hill if you want to make it home.

When we first moved here, I took very few walks. I was intimidated by the hill or at least the prospect of pushing the baby stroller up the hill. So while we lived in a reasonably good walking neighborhood, I didn’t do much walking. I didn’t do much exercise either.

Eventually, I admitted to myself that what I was doing wasn’t working. It wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t making any progress toward fitness goals or weight loss goals. I knew the one type of exercise I’d ever been able to do consistently and regularly as an adult was walking, but I wasn’t walking anymore. And getting a FitBit showed exactly how little exercise I was getting each day.

I had a choice. I could drive somewhere else to walk or I could walk in our neighborhood. But I knew driving somewhere to walk adds an extra step, and getting comfortable walking through the neighborhood was a better plan for meeting my long term goals. I’d just have to deal with the big darn hill.

All the Big Darn Hills

As I walked through the neighborhood, I realized that there are so many big darn hills out there that keep me from doing things that are good for me.

Rejection is a big darn hill. Fear of rejection can keep you from looking for a better job, or from broadening your circle of friends, or from putting forward your own ideas. Why put yourself out there and offer yourself, only to have someone turn you down?

But if you don’t, you’ll never get the better job. You’ll never broaden your circle. You’ll never be recognized for your good idea, or fix a problem or make something better.
Fear of Failure
is a big darn hill. Why try anything new, or anything that will stretch your capabilities? Why put your heart and effort into something if you aren’t sure you can succeed?

But if you don’t try with all your might, you’ll never grow. You’ll never know what you could have done. You’ll never live up to your potential.

Change is a big darn hill. What if life isn’t as good as it is now? What if you make things worse?

But if you don’t change, things are as likely to go bad from your inaction as from your action. And if you don’t change, nothing will ever get better.

It’s all big darn hills. Life is a big darn hill. But if you sit at home on the couch, you’re not really living, are you? You’re just letting life pass you by.

Conquering the Big Darn Hill

So, now I’m regularly walking down and then up the big darn hill. I’m not sitting on the couch. I’m trying to get my step goals, and trying to be healthy.

I may not have reached every goal, but I’m not letting the fact that I have to climb a hill stop me.

The big hill is only intimidating if I allow it to be.Once I started walking, I realized that not only is it not bad, it’s kind of nice, and it gets easier every day.

I stretch my legs. My lungs fill with fresh air. The sunlight warms my face and the wind kisses my cheeks. I hear the birds singing and smell flowers blooming. And when I get to the top each day, I feel a little sense of accomplishment.

The big darn hill isn’t going to keep me from taking a walk, or doing anything else.

What are the big darn hills of your life? What keeps you sitting on the couch when you know you should be out exercising your talents and resources?

Walking Up the Big Darn Hill and Out of the Comfort Zone

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, Disease Called Debt and From Cost to Coast*

15 thoughts on “Walking Up the Big Darn Hill and Out of the Comfort Zone

  1. The first thing that keeps me from walking up those darn hills in life is energy! I know that if I got up and did more (exercise as well as other goals) that I would feel more energetic (and if I didn’t know, my wife keeps telling me anyway). Change, fear of failure and rejection are also keeping me on the sofa. I think when you know that other people, even well-accomplished people, have those same issues, it helps and gives you some motivation to make a move.
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…Finding Good Cheap Wines to Fit Your BudgetMy Profile

    • I think you’re right. When you aren’t doing much, your energy level gets set to not so much and it can be difficult to summon up enough to get even small things done. Once you have some success in conquering the hills, you get in a better frame of mind and your energy level goes up. Sometimes you just need a little victory to get you moving.

    • Excellent point. Generally I find my “I don’t have time” excuses are really “I haven’t made time” or “I’ve made other things priorities (like Netflix).” And being afraid of something makes it easier to find other things to fill up my time instead of things that are more productive.

    • Often, that’s the case. I think that’s why small wins work so well…they help us make changes by showing that a move in the right direction isn’t so hard. A little victory changes the perspective, and we realize we’ve been making the neighborhood hill into Mount Everest.

  2. I love this!

    I think my big darn hill is currently fatigue and inertia. I had all these big plans that once I started work I would spend my evenings and weekends being super productive in all these other areas (writing, learning HTML, etc.), but I’ve mostly been laying on the couch watching TV because I’m tired from working all day. I’m going to give myself the rest of this week to veg out in the evenings, and after that, no more!
    Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless recently posted…No Car No Car No Car No CarMy Profile

    • It can take a while to adjust to life changes like your new job, and giving yourself time to absorb the changes before making a new push is probably a good idea. But I think putting a limit on your cushion is also a good idea, so that your new normal includes the things that are important to you.

  3. I think my own big darn hill is myself a lot of the time – I psych myself out better than anything I actually see in front of me. Even with fitness, there are lots of healthy things I like to do but somehow my brain plays tricks on me and I forget that. Super lame.
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…PODCAST FRIDAYS!! The M.O.N.E.Y. ShowMy Profile

    • I can see where you can convince yourself you don’t like something, or you can convince yourself that something else is way more important (like watching another episode of Veronica Mars today) than doing the things you know you need to do.

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