If You’re Not Challenging Yourself, You’re Not Living
Try something that you might be absolutely awful at
For my entire life (ok, 18 years), soccer has been an enormous part of who I am. I spent most of my weeknights practicing or competing, and all other nights were dedicated to more fitness and training for the sport. I loved being a part of a team, and I loved how much of my life was involved in the atmosphere.
However, this summer was my last season playing at a highly competitive level (for a while anyways). I guess for now I’m calling it semi-retirement, until I’m ready to fully admit that I have let go of the one thing I’ve dedicated much of my life to.
The reason I have been able to love this sport for so long is because I never felt that I reached my peak. I was always able to keep pushing myself with extra practices, one on ones with my coaches, and finding ways to elevate my fitness, footwork, and speed.
But, I had to let go for a few reasons: my sanity, my favorite coach retiring, and my injuries. In soccer years, I’m about 46. My ligaments have stretched to the point that it is actually impossible for me to break my ankles *waves doctors note as evidence*. And after tearing my calcaneofibular ligament (lol what) 8 months ago, I’ve reached a new pain threshold I didn’t even know existed.
My physiotherapist basically laughed in my face when I said I wanted to strengthen it, and one day I was just like, "you know, I think I’d like to be able to walk in my old age".
But here’s the biggest issue with my semi-retirement: I get bored. Very easily.
If I didn’t have soccer during post-secondary, it’s safe to say that my debt would have been triple the amount it was. Because as soon as I have one free weeknight and no official plans, I will find a way to spend money.
This means, it’s time to find something new to fill my (limited amount of) time.
Therefore, I’ve decided to learn a new sport.
For those of you thinking “a new sport, at this age?” yes, I see you.
I know it can be a little bit overwhelming to step outside of your comfort zone once you reach adulthood. After all, trying something new as a child is strongly encouraged. You are supported by your family and friends to attempt as many outlets as possible, and then choose the path that you find yourself to be strongest in.
When suddenly, you become an adult.
And people stop encouraging you to try new things. They stop finding it adorable when you struggle, and the fear of being bad at something is all it takes to talk yourself out of it.
But to me, challenging yourself is the only way to live your life.
If I didn’t challenge myself I wouldn’t have:
Paid off my debt in under a year
Stopped spending money on the fear of missing out
Started a blog that publically revealed all of my deep, dark, financial mistakes
Decided to quit the one sport that made me more comfortable than anything else
I’d be stuck. Doing the same things day in and day out, wondering if I’d ever be able to retire, and pondering a life in which I was reaching for financial independence. I’d be sad. And I’d still be lonely.
So, since this blog has been a wonderful place to hold myself accountable, I’m going to announce my new challenges. Starting in September, to keep myself busy for all of winter (AKA Canada’s season), I will be playing in a recreational multi-sport league with some friends.
AND Starting in October, I am going to attempt Muay Thai and kickboxing.
Why Muay Thai and kickboxing? That’s easy.
Because it terrifies me.
If you are interested in doing something new to challenge yourself, join me! Before the end of 2016, start something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Try something that you might be absolutely awful at.
Because young you would have done it willingly. Because young you wouldn’t have even batted an eye.
What is the one thing you love most about challenging yourself? Let me know in the comments!