Column: Jumping out of our comfort zoneThe words will forever remain etched in my memory. “You convinced everyone else here to do this, so, of course, you can do this!”
By: Kristi Stokes, For the Budgeteer News
I can do that, right?
The words will forever remain etched in my memory. “You convinced everyone else here to do this, so, of course, you can do this!” That was relayed to me as my heels were inching ever closer to the edge of the rooftop of the nine-story Sellwood Building in Duluth’s Downtown as part of our organization’s Over the Edge fundraiser recently.
When you are busy promoting an event and working with participants, sponsors and volunteers, it’s easy to put thoughts toward the back of your mind. I always knew that I was going to rappel down the front of the building and the thought was a bit daunting to me.
But with all of the excitement, planning and positive energy, it didn’t seem quite as real for me. Therefore, I went on, business as usual. That is, until it was my turn to go to the rooftop in rappelling gear.
Strapping on the harness, my crazy adventure became very real. I smiled a lot, but I think that was just nervous energy. When it came to training, I listened intently and did two practice runs, just to make sure I had the “ropes thing” down.
It’s not that I am terribly afraid of heights. I’ll admit it: I’m not brave when there is not a big wall or ledge separating me from the flat ground, stories below. And scaling down the side of a nine-story building is a bit out of my comfort zone.
If I thought that reality set in when I strapped on the harness, it went into overdrive when our certified ropes technician told me to line my heels up with the edge of the building and take the weight off my feet. I thought I did. But he assured me that I had not.
In the next moment, I reminded everyone, “I can do this.” And that’s when the sheer thrill and excitement took over. Because once I managed to take that first step, I was having an adrenaline-filled adventure of a
It was so amazing and fun to be making my way down the building; I remained focused, but by the time I hit the fifth floor, I was feeling relaxed. It felt like my strides were swifter and I managed to wave to the camera on the fourth floor.
Did I ever look down? No. I’ll save that for the next time.
In our daily lives and careers, how many times do we refrain from plunging into the unknown because it is out of our comfort zone? Let this event remind you to seize the moment and take on that challenge.
The first step is always the hardest. After that, enjoy the adventure.
Kristi Stokes is the president of the Greater Downtown Council in Duluth. Contact her at 727-8549 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org