This week I want you to fully consider this question: Do you try new things?
Last week I included continue to try new things in my list of what I want to do in my aging process. As I reflected on this I realized that I see getting stuck in our ways, settling, deciding that all of the fun things have already be done, and worrying about potential injuries as a negative consequence of getting old.
But, it doesn’t have to be.
I have plenty of people around me to inspire against this dwindling and disappearing type of aging— athletes always making and crushing new goals; my mom recently starting a new career; my mother-in-law always willing to try something new with the kids; so many family members and friends becoming entrepreneurs, changing jobs later in life, or leaving loveless marriages; my mother in law’s aunt(!) playing kickball with the family at our annual reunion. I am surrounded by people motivated for big change for all of humanity. But, I also see plenty settling happen as those around me get older. People are tired in midlife. And, it makes sense as to why. So we must be even more intentional in practicing looking outside of easy and toward a full life of growth.
It is important to keep stimulating your body and mind as you age. And not just in those crosswords and word searches that my grandma always did. Keep making new goals and trying new things.
I am pretty good at consistently making new goals. I am not afraid to try new endurance events or take on races on my own, in new territory. I do sincerely love trying new things. But, it takes some adventurous souls around me to conceptualize brand new ideas and with the invite I will jump on board. I realize I thoroughly enjoy these qualities in people and intentionally surround myself with friends who fulfill this for me. I married someone who has always been brave and adventurous.
As I write this I am waiting in the car in Indiana outside of an Xterra transition area, waiting to watch my husband Jamie try something completely new. He is nervous. I am inspired. The thrill of taking my goal setting “off road” into new territory is contagious. Although I am not quite sure yet that the mountain bike portion of Xterra triathlon is on my list, I do know that I want to try new things in life in general and also in the realm of endurance sports.
Trying new things is good for your mind, body, and soul.
- It builds courage. Summoning new courage gives you confidence and builds self trust.
- It can be exhilarating! You might find a new hobby or pastime that you enjoy. How do you know what you really do like without trying many things? Don’t let your idea of something rule out your desire to give it a try. There is a distinct difference between deliberately choosing to not do something based on lack of interest or desire and having interest but not doing it because the process and/or outcome is uncertain.
- Trying new things helps you grow. When we set out on new adventures or put ourselves in uncertain situations it gives us more opportunity to fail. And we need to fail to learn. It also gives us the chance to experience success in new areas.
- We must provide different physical stimuli to our bodies in order to maintain (or change) our body composition as we get older. We must also challenge our mind to help combat brain fog and later dementia and Alzheimers disease. To try new things can add to our healthy longevity.
Jamie conquered his uncertainty and although he was quiet and visibly nervous leading up to the start, he finished his first Xterra race. And he gained confidence in his abilities, learned, and grew. At this time he isn’t convinced that he has fallen in love with Xterra racing, but he is sincerely happy he tried.
If you have been waiting for it, I give you permission and encouragement to spend some time searching for and making a plan to try some new things. I plan to do the same. And, if you find something really cool in the world of endurance racing (and otherwise) that you think I should try— please pass the idea along.
There is a big world of options and opportunities out there and I am privileged to be able to take them. And to hopefully inspire and definitely advocate and support you as well.