Escaping The Dreaded Comfort Zone


Last weekend I was playing in the pool with my kids and girlfriend. It was a blast until my girlfriend and six-year old daughter challenged me to a race. It was on! I blasted into the water like a cannon, thrashing my arms as fast I could. In my mind, my strokes sliced the water as gracefully as a dolphin through a tube of waves, as skilled as Michael Phelps…

In my momentary glory, I made the mistake of looking up and preparing to look back for my contenders. Not only was I shocked that I was only in the middle of the pool, but I was swimming in their jet stream. Muscles burning, out of breath and now chocking on the remnants of their splashes as I furiously flailed so as not to sink. While proud of my contenders, I felt uselessly uncoordinated, dizzy and out of breath and shape. I paddled in shame to the other side of the pool. My inner jargon doing a good job of taking care of what the water hadn’t completed.

I was completely deflated and ready to resign to “the fact” that I suck at swimming! And I had all the rationale to back that fact up. I’m too muscular, I’m too dense, I’m a land animal, I don’t float, I’m good at other things, I don’t like swimming.

The truth is, I fear MYSELF in water. Challenging my breath and coordination while moving in water is something so foreign and uncomfortable to me. Trusting this body of liquid to support me when I feel so vulnerable and unsure has kept me rehearsing my excuses and rationales for why I can’t swim properly. My repetitive story about why I wasn’t build to swim, has stalled my search for guidance because frankly it was easier to just believe my truth and remain in my comfort zone.

 Seeking proper instruction and coaching would mean facing my fears, being vulnerable and UNCOMFORTABLE.

It was a weekend of challenge for me as my girlfriend refused to allow me to hide behind my stories. What transpired for an additional three hours was an in-depth mini swimming course. The first hour was absolute misery. I couldn’t get my body to do what she was so easily demonstrating.  Pure frustration set in. How is this happening I asked myself? I am usually such a great learner in almost everything else when it comes to human movement. Somehow there is a huge disconnect between brain and body whenever I am in the water.

With patience and some instruction I started to understand what she was trying to have me achieve. I felt encouraged as I could see improvement in my style and started to truly feel how graceful swimming can be. I was particularly encouraged by my shift in mindset. It felt AMAZING!!

I share this story because once again I was struck by the gift of this humbling experience. I share this story as your health and fitness coach who too feels vulnerable with new movement patterns or when challenged to explore beyond what is familiar and comfortable. I am humbled by my swimming experience as it reminded me of the wonderful clients I have the privilege of working with, who challenge themselves day after day, week after week, year after year, to train with me in a form I am well versed in and comfortable with, but they might not be.

Whether on land or in water, at work or at play, physically or mentally, I share my story as a reminder and in solidarity that we will all have challenges and mental blocks, things that come naturally and things that are painful struggles. But I challenge you to reward yourself with the uplifting pride you will feel when you challenge yourself to be wisely vulnerable, challenge your limiting beliefs and step outside of your comfort zone.

We pride ourselves at Revolution Fitness to be your “life vest” and coach as you conquer new physical and nutritional barriers.

If you are struggling right now, realize that our purpose is to help people exactly like you. I share my story as this experience shapes our coaching style. While here to train and motivate you, we pride ourselves in remembering the uniqueness of everyone’s strengths and challenges allowing us to meet you where you are at and shape a program around your needs and growth.

We highly encourage you to schedule your FREE CONSULTATION so that we can help taper a program to YOUR NEEDS and YOUR GOALS.

Train with Purpose,

Franz with girls

Franz Snideman

Revolution Fitness

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