I Believe in trying newthings

Allison - Healdsburg, California
Entered on September 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in trying new things, even if it means stepping outside of you comfort zone.

For years and years I kept inside my comfort zone, wrapping it tightly around me, scarcely every leaving it. Then in February, I was asked by a friend, Carol, if would like to attend a presentation with her about a run being given in honor of cancer patients. I agreed, but I wasn’t sure if I would actually participate in whatever the activity was. As I drove myself to the library where the meeting was at, I kept telling myself that the reason I was going was because I like to run and I like Carol and even as the meeting started I still wasn’t sure why I was there, but I decided that I was still going to listen to what was being said.

The woman in charge of the presentation told us that the program she was introducing was called Team in Training and it was designed to help raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We were informed that we could choose to do a half- marathon or full marathon in one of many locations (Avenue of the Giants, San Diego, Alaska.) We were also told that there would be fundraising involved, consisting of a couple thousand dollars. We were reassured with the knowledge though, that if we worked the system- the fundraising would be fine.

Well, Carol was very excited and she talked me into signing up for the half marathon up north at the Avenue of the Giants. She helped me become so wound up that I forgot about any worries I had had about it. On my home I kept thinking about how everything would work out and I thought about my grandmother who I had lost to lymphoma two years. My only problem ended up being that my parents were worried about the $2200 I had to fundraise by the middle of April. However, this didn’t really end up being a worry because within ten days of sending out a donation letter I had all the money I needed and by the time my run came around in May, I had raised $4771.10- double the amount I had needed originally.

From February to the end of April, I trained for my half- marathon run. I started at two or three miles, then I began running six or seven miles and by the end I was running nine or ten miles. I ran three days a week and did some other form of exercise two days a week. I went to group runs, including Team In Training people that I had never met before in my life. Carol was at these runs when I went, but often we didn’t go at the same pace, so I found myself running with strangers. After four months of training the day of the race finally came. Again, I was left by myself because Carol and I were given different start times, yet I felt comfortable running by myself. I never did “run” with anybody in particular, though I did end up running behind one woman the entire way (she was how I checked my pace), and I never entered into a conversation with anyone I was running next to. However, I still felt comfortable with what I was doing and I never felt out of place.

I have learned that it is important to try new thing, even if you don’t think that you will do very well at them. I know now that I can live through a half- marathon and I even I if I decide that I won’t do one again, I know that it is worthwhile trying something new. I also know that it isn’t that hard to step outside your comfort zone and I’ve found through this experience that I don’t hold it as tightly as I used to.