Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Take It To The Limit
My agent, Rachelle Gardner, just shared a post about pushing herself beyond her comfort zone. She gives examples of skydiving, SCUBAing, skiing black diamond runs, all to show herself she could do it. The lesson, of course, is that we all have within us resources we're unwilling to tap. We don't like to get out of our comfort zone.
In the early days of our marriage, Cynthia and I were in Venezuela for a medical meeting. The resort offered parasailing. Cynthia went up. I stayed on the beach and held her purse. Later, just a few months before she died, we were in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the stops on the tour we took was the Capilano Suspension Bridge. That swaying bridge spans 450 feet at a height of 230 feet. Cynthia walked across and back. I stayed safely on land.
When I first began writing, I produced material that should have had bluebirds flying around it. Everything was fine. It all worked out. There was no suspense, no tension--because to write beyond that took me out of my comfort zone. But it didn't take me long to find that without suspense, without pushing things a bit, there was nothing to hook readers.
The same is true of everyday life. Like it or not, I have to get out of my comfort zone. I need to do a few things spontaneously. I even need to take a chance or two. Or, as the Eagles sing, I need to take it to the limit.
After Cynthia's death, another doctor and I were speaking in British Columbia. We visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge. And I crossed it--to the other side and back. I followed Cynthia's example. And I'm glad I did.
Have you ever taken it to the limit? I'd like to hear how and when.