Moving past our comfort zones

Published by Don Gilman on

Adventure isn’t about being comfortable. At least, in my opinion, it shouldn’t be. That’s kind of the whole point.

Those were my thoughts when I woke up this morning. I’ve been on fire with this ever since. We spend our lives moving from bubble to bubble, rarely having the courage to move outside of that. But here’s the thing: that’s where life is, real life. That’s where the heart of authentic living is. The good stuff. Now, I’m not pointing a finger at everyone else. I need to do it too (more on that in a minute.)

Be brave, Professor, be brave like my mother. Otherwise, you disgrace her. Otherwise, she died for nothing. Otherwise, the bowl will remain empty forever. – Harry Potter.

I think this is why adventure sports have become so popular, why movies like Meru and Free Solo have become so popular. Until the advent of the modern world, our lives were full of risk (probably too much.) But people did live more authentic lives in many ways. In this modern world we live with very little real risk, and especially now, always on our phones and devices, our bubbles have gotten bigger and bigger. But I think that is very much to our own detriment.

Now, concerning my own comfort zones. I’m very good at pushing my own limits when it comes to adventure (although I should be pushing myself even more.) But where I struggle is in social situations. I have a really hard time making eye contact, even with my close friends. I have a very hard time going to any kind of social gatherings. So that is what I need to be braver about. I’m committed to working on it. More eye contact. More social situations. I’m good at being brave, so why not in this arena?

The irony is that this morning (the day after I started writing this)I was going to get up at 8 and go do a big traverse up and over Red Mountain as an official Climb to the Light objective. But I could not get myself going. I couldn’t seemingly push myself. So I’ve obviously got work to do. A lot of work.

Despite my failing, I still know this is true and am going to work on furthering my comfort zone. I hope you all do the same.

Don Gilman

Don Gilman has been climbing mountains for 20 years, beginning with an ascent of Mt. Thielsen in Oregon in 1998. He has been dealing with severe depression and suicidal ideation since he was nine years old. He also deals with PTSD and anxiety on a daily basis, and uses climbing as a form of therapy. In 2014, he woke up to find his then-13-year-old son had hung himself. Fortunately, his son survived, but that event has become the motivating factor that has made suicide prevention the most important cause in his life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *