So you’ve heard of Destination U!, right? That’s the group I created to help beginners train for and run their first 5k race. It started out as “Champions 5k”, but it didn’t take long for that name to sour a bit because it’s so presumptive and lofty. It reeks of comparison and judgement and that’s not what I’m going for. What I wanted, was a group that allowed each person to focus on themselves and compare themselves only to themselves; “To be the best version of yourself that you can be: Destination YOU!”.
This morning in Browns Boot Camp, we were asked to imagine what it would look like to take ourselves to the next level. Next level YOU! Next level ME! What does the next level ME look like and how do I get there.. next level MOM or DAD, next level HUSBAND or WIFE, next level STUDENT or EMPLOYEE.. EMPLOYER.. next level FITNESS, next level NUTRITION, next level MIND, next level SELF-CONFIDENCE, next-level FRIENDSHIP, TEAM-MATE, PARTNER… on and on it goes.
It’s such a RAWR moment when you really think about it. It’s intense and it supposed to be that way. BE intense about it, because when you have intensity, you’re getting REAL. You’re getting closer when you take it to the next level. And the closer you get, the more uncomfortable you’re going to become because this is new territory for you and me. This is where you always f-up or give up because you think you can’t handle it and you think you’re not good enough, strong enough, pretty enough, professional enough, smart enough, confident enough. You’re right there at your limit and on the other side is a place you haven’t been before; You have never YOU’d at this level before, you have never been a MOM or DAD at this level before, you have never been this kind of STUDENT or SPOUSE or EMPLOYER or FRIEND.. or whatever before.
All you can do is be there and flail around like an idiot and be so uncomfortable that you want to run screaming, away from the pain and discomfort and settle back into something familiar and easy. You want to check out, quit, stop, disappear, apologize and excuse yourself – what do you do when you’re in that SUCK, but you still want to go to the next level whatever it is?
You can sit there and hate yourself and that’s fine but what are you going to do with it? How are you going to get to the next level of yourself? When you put yourself in that situation where you have no business being, where you think everyone would laugh if they knew how undeserving you are of being there, where you think everyone else would think you are weak because you can’t do as many pushups as they can, or where you get tongue-tied when you’re around people you’ve already assigned to the folder named, “Better-than-me!” – when you find yourself in that place where you’re so naked and vulnerable and afraid and at the very limits of your ability or self-confidence I want to ask one thing of you (and myself), take.. another.. step.. forward.
That’s next level ME! right there. Speak up, stand up, grit your f’ing teeth, go wild-eyed and push out one more set, scream, cry, roar, or quietly dwell in that place you don’t belong in, and own that shit anyway.
And here’s what you’ll notice – Next Level ME is always on the other side of the hard thing. Always! If it’s hard and uncomfortable and vulnerable and you hate yourself and your failures and weaknesses and you’re beating yourself up – THAT is when you have to opportunity to turn about-face and step forward, cross the line, break new ground and go to the next level.
Gotta love discomfort with a mind-set like that. Can’t wait to put myself out there!