Category Archives: Comfort Zone

Embrace The Bike: My BHAG 2017


Embrace the Bike

BHAG is Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I need to have something BIG to do, something new, something fun, something outside. Since I’m not supposed to run with my arthritic knee, I’m turning to biking. Since I’ve never been fast but have endurance, I’ve become interested in long distance biking.  I first set the goal of a century ride (100 miles) in 2017, but as that idea percolated, more ideas came to mind.

Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage is 150 mile trail from Pittsburgh PA to Cumberland Maryland. I thought this would be a good goal. There are no motorized vehicles on it, and this would fulfill my goal of a century ride-plus some!

Great Allegheny Passage  AND the C&O Trail

Where the GAP Trail ends in Cumberland, Maryland, the C&O Towpath Trail takes over. The C&O Trail goes from Cumberland to Washington DC. You can ride your bike from Pittsburgh PA to Washington DC.  This is 335 miles.  As I thought about this, it seemed like riding just “half” the trail would only be half complete.  I’m sure I would want to complete the whole trail-so why not do that from the start?

Amtrak is the key

Getting to one end of the trail could be tricky except there is Amtrak! It is a single train ride from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. They now have a new service where you just wheel your bike onboard for a small fee of twenty bucks-easy peasy!

Training Trails

I have a close bike trail to train on. It is the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Full length is 73 miles, which would give me great opportunities for long mileage off roads.

So here’s to my BHAG for 2017, embrace the bike!

My 2017 Goals

2017 Goals

This usually, if I write one, starts out as “what races I am running” for the year.

This is going to be a different year, maybe the start of new me, or Kimba 2.0 as I call her.

I may not be running much. I have Grade 4 Arthritis on my right knee. I’ve seen the XRays (went to the doctor in December) where there is not a gap between my bones.  Knee Arthritis
Hence the pain on my knee. Running is the worst thing you can do for this.  Walking is good. Swimming, biking, hiking is good. Virtually every other sport under the sun is good-except for running.

It’s going to be a very flexible year that I will embrace.  (Embrace is my word of the year!)

Hiking: I’ve become interested in the Buckeye Trail. I received several map sections of the BT for Christmas and I would like to cover these in 2017.  I would also like to do some overnight camping.

Biking: I’m going to ride my bike this year. I need to find trails or roads without lots of traffic. One of my goals will be to ride a century, or 100  miles.

Swimming: I am learning to swim with my face in the water. I think it will be fun and out of my comfort zone to “try a tri” which is a swim, followed by a bike, followed by a run.

Volunteer: this is definitely on the calendar. I will be working at the following races Forget the PR 50K in April and Massanutten 100 in May.  I will be recruiting volunteers for a new adventure race here in southern Ohio, at Camp Tuscazoar in August.

What’s on your adventure/recreation/racing calendar for 2017?

One Step Out of the Comfort Zone

One Step Outside the Comfort Zone


It’s NaBloPoMo! That is National Blog Posting Month, where I will successfully publish a blog post daily, for the month of November.

One writing prompt for this challenge is:

When was the last time you did something brave?

The first item to contemplate is the term, or definition of bravery. One definition is “brave spirit or conduct; admirable quality of being able to confront brightening things.”

I usually thing, in the matter of things I attempt to complete there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity.

Everyone’s definition of bravery is different. For example, I drove to a different city Wednesday night to watch a concert by myself. I would call this a microadventure, as I had never been to downtown Columbus or the Palace Theatre.

To me, this wasn’t bravery. This was one foot out of the comfort zone-negotiate traffic, find my hotel, find the theatre, sit next to strangers in a theatre.

Voila! The magic did happen right outside the comfort zone! I got to see Loreena McKEnnitt in concert, a chance and infrequent opportunity.  I got to see a new (to me) theatre and experience a different concert experience.  It just took a quick step outside the comfort zone to get me there.

What’s your definition of bravery? Have you done just a little hop outside of your comfort zone to find magic?

Ziplining with Dad on his 79th Birthday

Ziplining at The Wilds


A Project 50 goal was to go ziplining. I thought my dad would enjoy it.  What can one get a 79 year old man? Experiences.  I’ve been more interested in experiences lately than *stuff*.

The Wilds Zipline Tour

There is a cool place called The Wilds which is only one hour from me.  This is where I experienced my very first trail race back in 2006. I’ve actually never gone on any tours there. My father and I signed up for the zipline, while my mother and husband went on the open air safari ride.

Our tour guides were Dan and Jake. They were very responsible yet funny.  They explained at each tower what we were zipping next. ziplining guide  They were very conscious of safety-mainly this is a concern when braking, you can’t fall out of these super harnesses you are in!  Yes, we are going across that lake!

Our tour was just four people plus our guides.  A tour can take up to nine people at a time.  Your experience will take longer, as nine people have to be clipped in and sent, then caught and unclipped at the other end.  Our tour went a little quicker.

Ziplining at The Wilds

Outside the Comfort Zone..a little

I am not exactly afraid of heights but wasn’t that comfortable on the first one or two towers.  Zipping was fine, once you step off the platform, you GO! Zip! By the time you are looking around, you are about at the next tower and time to brake!  I got more comfortable standing on the towers as the tour progressed.  There is a total of ten zip lines, and then you rapel off the last tower.
we came from there!

I think I got a bit more comfortable about halfway through the tour.  I got the idea of braking better and getting back up on each tower.  It was fun!

Dad ziplining

My dad had a great time too! He is a very active 79 year old, just finished softball season.  There is no reason to let age deter you from experiencing some new activities.  I could have bought him a new wrench for his birthday but I think both of us had a much better time together hanging out in the trees.

Dad and Daughter safely down!

Happy Birthday Dad!

P.S. He mentioned jumping out of an airplane…

Project 50: White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting

I have been visiting Ohiopyle for the last ten years.  In that time I did not visit Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob nor venture down the famous  Youghiogheny  River for the famous white water rafting that Ohiopyle is known for.yough riverIt was time to remedy that!

The name Ohiopyle was derived from a native american indian word “ohiopehhla” meaning white frothy water.

Coach Hanks was a long time fan of white water rafting and we got two more Neo Trailer’s (Slim and Baby Sasquatch) to venture out for white water rafting.

Of course we went running before. Our raft trip didn’t begin until 11 am, that gave us all morning to run! (Mine was in the form of a hike, not a run.)

mile zero Flag on Trail

Lower Yough

We booked our trip through Wilderness Voyageurs. Our trip “Captain” was Sasqatch.  Maybe his real name, maybe not.  We got the briefing on how to bundle ourselves into the life jackets, helmets and paddle issued.  Then we were off to the Yough! (Pronounced Yock or Yuck.)

The lower loop of the Yough is very user friendly to the white water rafting companies. It’s 7.5 miles of Class III-V rapids.  In addition, you would go through a rapid and then have time for some slow water to recover and get your next instructions from the guides, called a “drop and pool river”.  Our trip was called “Guide Escorted” which means guides were in kayaks and rafts around us, but we captained our own boat.  We had about six guides out with us on the water.

One guide would go over how they wanted us to take the rapid, like go to the right of that big rock, paddle, paddle, paddle. On some rapids, a guide would stand on a huge rock, and we would watch his hand signals to let us know when to paddle forward, when to stop paddling.  The guides knew what they were doing!

white water raft

I was a bit scared in the first couple of rapids. Hence my look in the photos taken at the second rapid! I was determined to just paddle paddle paddle and get us through the white water.

concentration on raft

I started to relax a bit more and then started having fun.  white water raft It was a hot day on the Yough, but there was time to jump off the raft and do a bit of a swim. It seemed about the time  I was getting comfortable on white water  our journey was over!

I would recommend Wilderness Voyageurs for your trip on the Yough.  One, the Wilderness Voyageur Store is open year round.  I like to give a little shout out for the business that is open in winter. I know, because we’ve been over winter time running out of Ohiopyle. Two,  the guides were friendly and knowledgeable. I felt very safe following their directions and commands as we rafted down the Yough.

Have you gone white water rafting? Would you go again?


How to Step outside your comfort zone

how to step outside comfort zone

1. Sign up for something

2. Go Do It

It’s that simple. But you need some more direction?

Brainstorm some ideas. What …scares you? What have you never tried? What has been something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, and just haven’t gotten around to it?

Research it. Find out how you can see Niagara Falls from a helicopter–it’s called Google, or Bing! Read about helicopter companies on Tripadvisor or simiiar forum and find a reputable company-

Make the DATE!

Thought about trying to run a 5K but you’ve never walked more than a 1/2 mile in your life? Search “my state 5k races” and you will find one or two comprehensive running calendars with a 5K that will fit your schedule in 3-5 months or sooner.

Come up with a PLAN!

There are Couch to 5K programs on-line. There are teachers out there that will teach you ballroom dancing, How to give an Ignite Talk, how to change a flat tire, snowboarding. There are pilots that will take you over the Grand Canyon, or tandem jump out of a plane with you!

Get Someone to Go With You

Scared to do it yourself? Know it will be more fun with others? Invite people.  Maybe they will turn you down for the Color Run. Ask others. Maybe that other person has been dying to try pole dancing also. I just completed a white water rafting trip with 3 other friends. Do you know why they went with me? I threw the idea out there and they said yes too!

Need the Support? Just ask. Maybe someone else wants to take the Wilderness Safety Course and you can carpool.  Want someone to help you along as you climb that fire tower or mountain because you are afraid of heights? Ask for help.  Someone is going to want to and be willing to go along and help you. Need someone to drive you home after your first half-marathon because you don’t know how you will feel? Ask for the help. Someone may be delighted to help you out.


Maybe this really puts you out of your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve always traveled with another person, but you’ve been wanting to experience that concert two cities away and nobody shares your interest. Go! Go by yourself. You may be slightly uncomfortable but you will have that experience forever.

Being alone may be the reason you’re stepping out of your comfort zone.  Go to a different 5K run in a different location where you don’t know anybody or know the terrain.  In June I went to an orienteering event where I did not know anybody and did not know anything about orienteering. I asked to tag along with a couple which was fine with them. We had a fun afternoon together.

control 8

I was slightly uncomfortable asking, but what was the worst they would say-no?

This is my simple method for stepping outside of my comfort zone. This is going to be one of my focus points of my future blogs-stepping out of the comfort zone.

How are you stepping outside of your comfort zone?