I was speaking with a friend about working out and she said, “It should be a little uncomfortable. You shouldn’t be too comfortable when working out.” I paused and thought, “that’s a word!”
All too often we think that if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, called to do, we’ll be comfortable. I don’t know where we get this notion from. I don’t know why we feel we should be comfortable while going after our dreams. I remember coming to terms with this many times in law school. Going to law school was such a privilege and I did enjoy learning, however, there were plenty of times when I was absolutely miserable. Tired was an understatement. Not to mention life kept moving. Loved ones had babies, loved ones died. Relationships were neglected. My body was neglected. It was definitely an uncomfortable process. But there is something about discomfort that lets you know you’re on the right track. Discomfort means you’re growing. In the gym discomfort means you are literally growing muscles. Actually, while you work out you damage muscle fibers and after you workout, the process the body undergoes to repair the damaged muscle fiber builds muscle.
I think this is why my friend said, “you shouldn’t be too comfortable.” If I was too comfortable in the gym, I probably wouldn’t build any muscle.
Being uncomfortable means you’re learning, growing and building. I have many classmates from high school and college that have recently taken up fitness and look amazing. As I admire what they accomplished in the gym, when I start working out I realize how uncomfortable they must have been to achieve their fitness goals. And it’s not just fitness. Many of the celebrities I admire speak at great lengths about being uncomfortable on their journey, from experiencing homelessness to abuse.
So when you find yourself uncomfortable, but you’re working towards your goal. Keep working, you’re building muscle.