Thursday, October 3, 2019

Comfort Zone - Inside Or Outside?

I'm not sure when it happened... but somewhere in my more mature adult life I seem to have lost some of my common sense. 

This summer I have done some things that have scared me pale... like the hike to Zapata Falls.  Ok, well, the hike was easy, it was the trek along the rock wall that ran along the edge of a rushing "creek" and then traversing said "creek" so that I could actually SEE the falls.

This past weekend found me doing something I probably would have better enjoyed watching my children do... you know the perpetual cheerleader... all the while as I worry about their safety.

Let me back up... On Friday we journeyed back to Ouray, CO - our third "annual" visit.  During the 6+ hour trip we listened to "The Story" audiobook and I hand-quilted the EPP table topper that I started 2 years ago on our first visit to Ouray.>>>

I have made good progress and have about 1-1/2 hexies to quilt and then the setting squares and binding.

The colors were spectacular!  

On Saturday we drove to Telluride.  Last year we learned that you can take a lift to the top and ride your bikes down some trails.  

As a novice rider I felt really comfortable with a green trail... designed for beginners.  That is until we came to the first turn.  

My stomach dropped and fear and anxiety rose.  The tight hairpin turn had a steep angle to it.  I immediately wondered "How in the world am I ever going to get down this mountain?!?"  And "what have I gotten myself into???"  

I wanted to walk crawl as I cried all the way down to the base of the mountain.  That turn was so steep I couldn't keep my feet under me.  **sigh**  I was covered in dust and my ego (along with my backside) was bruised.  

It was at that point that I thought "I need a big ol' sticker on my back that said CAUTION::STUDENT DRIVER".  Thankfully the trail wasn't overly busy and I wasn't run over or in the way of too many riders.

After the first few spills I finally figured out how to walk the high ridge and keep the bike upright and WITH me, not at the bottom of the turn in a cloud of dust.  

I eventually got brave enough to take a few of the easier turns.  I was feeling pretty proud of myself when I could finally see the base of the mountain.  Whew!  "I am upright, no broken bones or bloodied limbs and I came down on my own accord and at my own pace."  Dave was caring enough to hang with me and coach me through the turns.  What a guy! 

I suspected that Dave was actually giggling to himself about my uncoordinated moves.  He was down right beside me at one point, also covered in dust... He was kind enough (read that as smart enough) to not do it to my face or in a loud manner.  

Once upon a time there was a ski trip with some college friends.  He was a ski instructor and took three beginning skiers to the top and realized that the run was ice coated and would be much more challenging for us than he had anticipated.  He had a ski class scheduled and had to get down so he left the three of us behind.  We laughed our way down the hill and Dave learned that he should never leave me behind like that again.  What a guy!

But, I digress...  It took an hour from the time we got on the lift until we arrived at the base.  Not bad since a lady at the information desk said that it takes some first-timers 2 hours.  

Ok, so not only was I brave enough to do it once... I was cRaZy enough to do it a second time!  SEE!  I have lost some sense!  I have bruises in places I shouldn't have bruises from the bike getting in the way of my spills, my legs were weak, my arms were tired from squeezing the brakes, my shoulders and neck strained and let's not forget about my feet hurting because my toes were trying to grip the ridge of those hairy turns.  **sigh**  

The second run was a little faster with a few less spills and more turns that I actually rode my bike around rather than walking them.  But, again, I felt triumphant and breathed a big sigh of relief when I reached the base.

It hurt to climb into the over-cab bed that night... it hurt to get up the next morning... It still hurts a little and it is days later!  But I did it!

As I walked one of the high ridges of a turn I saw some deer tracks.  I stood and stared at them and gave myself a pep talk... I recalled the allegory of Hinds Feet in High Places - "a timeless allegory by Hannah Hurnard dramatizing the yearning of God’s children to be led to new heights of love, joy, and victory. In this moving tale, follow Much-Afraid on her spiritual journey as she overcomes many dangers and mounts at last to the High Places. There she gains a new name and is transformed by her union with the loving Shepherd."

I felt comforted when saw those tracks...  perhaps that is why I felt that I could actually manage to do it a second time.

What's the saying??? Old enough to know better... young enough to not care.  As I said, I think it was somewhere in the plus years of my 50+ years of life that I have found some carefree bravery  insanity to do such things.  I was victorious!  In conquered my fear by facing it head on covered in dust. 

Once my feet were standing on firm and flat ground and after a shower to wash all off all that followed me back to camp, I felt much more comfortable (& SAFE) as I prepared some EPP pieces for more of my camping journal quilt.  

You can see a few more of the blocks I have completed over on my Quilter's ADD post. 
I feel I have had my fill of excitement.  People talk of the adrenaline rush... I may have had a rush, but I was not exclaiming "That was SO fun!"  It took two full days before I was able to actually say it was fun... once I got past the exhaustion I was able to giggle... and not a full on belly laugh... 

I was so far out of my comfort zone!  But by getting out of that safe space I have grown.  My riding skills improved... I challenged my physical body and exercised muscles I had forgotten I had.  And I survived.

I think we all need to challenge ourselves at times.  Sometimes it seems that all we face are challenges and we long for a quiet time well inside our boundaries... in all realms of our life.  And that's okay.  But...

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you!

Stretch to grow - Grow to stretch,

Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series

Linking with:
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More


  1. I applaud your “carefree insanity.” I think it was somewhere around 50 (I’m 55) I began to embrace the unknown with more aplomb. I’d say my most extreme stepping outside my comfort zone was when I began dating again around the time I turned 50 - and using a dating app no less! LOL! Then I met the man who would become my husband on a FB group. And that bit of dating hell was behind me.

    Your quilt is lovely, by the way!

  2. Yay for carefree insanity!!! I am terrified of heights, but I went on a zipline course (9 ziplines that zigzag across the canyon in Maui) with my husband a couple of years ago. I was terrified and excited at the same time. It is exhilarating to face a huge fear and push through it. Now I am looking forward to another zipline adventure in the future. Good for you for doing it with more skill the second time. Gorgeous scenery in the autumn in Colorado!!

  3. Congrats on conquering your fear and having some wonderful adventures!

  4. The older I get the more parts of my body hurt. There are pain relief salves, etc. and I wonder how it would do to be dipped into the vat of this stuff, so much hurts! (I'm more than 10 years older than you!) Congratulations on doing this. Perhaps prepare more by bicycling more in the year between now and your next trip to be in better shape? Something I need to do too. I need to get out and walk while the weather is no longer TOO hot, before it gets TOO cold1

  5. Challenges are great, and it's good to keep learning. You are a brave lady, Melva! Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.