Beyond Limits

Have you ever pushed yourself beyond your limits? WAY beyond what you ever thought was possible? I had that kind of experience a few years ago. Each year we plan a vacation in the early months of the year, usually trying to find a place that will offer warmer weather. That year we planned to go to North Carolina in the middle of March. I was running a race, but we were also taking a good chunk of a week to enjoy that part of the country.

Somehow the idea of zip lining came about. Before I knew it, I had two dates to zip line in two very different places. The first was in Louisville, KY in the Mega Caverns, where we were 70 feet up in the air underground in dark caverns. Some of the zip lines were 900 feet long. The second was in Morganton, NC at The Beanstalk Journey. It was completely outside with a combination of rope bridges and zip lines, crisscrossing through the trees. We were only 50 feet off the ground. Two very different experiences, both incredible!
So how was I pushed WAY beyond my comfort zone? Well, I have an insane fear of heights. I have a hard time climbing on a ladder. I even have a hard time watching someone else do it. The last time I tried a ropes course I got two feet off the ground with my eyes closed and was crying so hard I could not continue…maybe I should say I could not even start. These zip lines scared me so much, but I was determined to complete them.
So why zip lining? It was a giant game of chicken. I think I kept hoping Johnny would back out and then I would not have to do it. But no luck. He didn’t back out, and luckily, I did it!
I had to pull on every mental skill that I have been teaching to get through this experience. There were numerous times when I could have let my mind go and I would have been paralyzed with fear and doubt. But by using positive self-talk and mental imagery, I was able to successfully and confidently complete the courses. I definitely conquered many demons that week.
I have the skills to overcome mental obstacles. I began developing these skills so I could conquer my food and eating issues. However, I realized that by fully developing these mental skills, I could lead a more adventurous and active life. These skills can be applied anywhere once you have learned them.
So how are you going to challenge yourself? What are you going to do to push yourself WAY out of your comfort zone? I would love to hear about it. Share your stories so we can all be inspired by one another’s accomplishments!

Change. Discover. Transform.
Until next time….
Carla Carter, Ed.D., LCPC, CMPC

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