Getting out of our comfort zone

This morning, I woke up and decided to write a completely different blog post, unrelated to racing.

About 4-5 years ago, we took our kids on a Caribbean cruise – a seemingly ordinary vacation spent with family. Looking back, there was one thing I did which was very different though: I signed up for a rock-climbing session. The rock-climbing wall was situated on the highest deck of the cruise-ship; the cruise ship was one of the biggest of the Princess Cruise Lines.

It was a bright sunny afternoon, so my daughter and I decided to give it a try. For me, it was my first rock-climbing adventure. We were hoisted up, and I thought to myself, “ok, this seems ‘easy’”. I was following the pace my daughter was going. About mid-way up, I was stuck, and I couldn’t find another landing. So in mid-air, I was dangling, hanging on to my dear life! For no reason, I looked back, only to see the wide blue ocean below me. This wall must have been at least 3 -4 storeys high, but when nothing seemed to be between me and the ocean, I freaked out. I called out to the instructor to let me down. However, he called back and said everyone who starts climbing must get to the top and ring the finishing bell before they are lowered back to the ground.

At that moment, I paused, not knowing what to do. My natural instinct was to quit. The next landing to my right and left were too far away to grab, and so was the landing above me. I had to make a decision then to go sideways or to step up. My family was looking up and telling me not to stall. I couldn’t move a step, and I felt paralyzed. The more I looked downwards and around me, the more scared I became.

So…with all my might and courage, I steered as far right as I could, grabbed on the landing with my right hand, pushed my body forward, and got hold of a landing. From then on, I grew familiar with how to manoeuvre smoothly – slowly but surely – until I landed the top. What a feeling! I rang the bell so hard, it sounded to me louder than the cruise ship engine.

The point of the matter is, as simple as an exercise like this, it test our guts, determination, fear, and most of all, how much we are willing to get out of our “comfort zone”!

In life, we get tested constantly, and it is not easy to make the wisest or clearest decisions, but somehow, if we are willing to give it a try, we will surprise ourselves!

This simple philosophy applies to our work, our careers, personal relationships, our goals. We will never see the wonders waiting for us if we don’t dare to step forward.

From this experience, I have learned to Keep Climbing!

By: Mabel Fong


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