Enter your discomfort zone
How comfortable are you? Maybe a better question would be: are you becoming a better person at your current comfort level?
After people workout, their body repairs damaged muscle fibers and forms new muscle strands or myofibrils. These repaired strands get thicker and that’s what we see when we say that a person has “bigger muscles.” This happens when muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. However, it cannot happen unless the muscles have actually been put under stress, which is why we need to constantly do physical activity in order to increase or even keep our strength. We need to make ourselves uncomfortable to see an improvement.
On March 2, 1955, a young black girl and pregnant black woman got on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The convention at the time was that no white people were to be left standing on a bus and that, should a white person get on, all black people were to give up their seats and move to the back. As a white woman got on, the driver of this particular bus ordered the two black ladies to get up and move to their required section, but all the seats were taken and so they would be forced to stand. The soon-to-be mother said she didn’t feel like standing and stayed in her seat. This inspired the young girl, who had just that day submitted a school paper about the local custom for black people not to be able to try clothes on in the change rooms of department stores. She also refused to move.
Police arrived and were able to convince a black man on the same bus to give up his seat so the pregnant woman could adhere to the policy, but the young girl still did not budge. She was eventually arrested and her case actually went to the Supreme Court. The young girl was named Claudette Colvin. It was nine months before the famous incident with Rosa Parks. It was Claudette Colvin who actually inspired Rosa Parks, who was the secretary for the NAACP and an adult. Claudette’s story was kept quiet due to her being only a teenager at the time. It was Claudette’s willingness to be uncomfortable which sparked the black civil rights movement.
Positive change requires pressure and force. If it doesn’t challenge you, it cannot change you or, in the case of Claudette Colvin, it might not change someone else.
Your homework over the holidays, and into the new year, is to get uncomfortable. Find that fitness activity you’re frightened to try; that new thing you’re embarrassed to learn. Maybe make that phone call to that person you’ve been thinking about getting to know better. That’s right everyone, we said make the phone CALL. A text is good, but a call is more personal and a lot of times it gets the job done better. You may not spark a political change, but if a little muscle tearing builds strength, who knows what a little discomfort in other areas will do to help you keep moving forward.