Life is a series of challenges. The older we get, the more challenges we face. Whether it has to do with work, family, finances, health issues or relationships. We’re constantly reminded of the daily grind, the harsh realities of life and the many challenges that still lie ahead.
As we get older we're given a couple choices.
You can either give up, give in to the grind, and wait your turn to die.
You can approach each new challenge head on, with everything you've got. And whether you fail or succeed, you try to learn from the experience and become a better person.
I try to challenge myself as often as I can. I think it's a healthy thing to do. It keeps me humble. It keeps me hungry. And it keeps me sharp.
Challenging yourself and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone can be incredibly liberating and absolutely terrifying at the same time. But it feels really good when a challenge is met and you can check it off your so called bucket list.
I submitted my firefighter application to my local fire department, last week. I was inspired by a friend of mine named A.J. We train together and he's been trying to get on with the department for the past couple years.
I didn't necessarily apply to get hired on because I truely love what I do now. But did it because I graduated from the fire academy about 10 years ago and I wanted to prove to myself that I could still meet all the qualifications and still kick ass on the physical assessments!
Another challenge I'm proud of is a professional (and I use that term loosely) boxing fight I did a few years ago. I used to be a pretty decent boxer when I was a kid. So a few years ago, I decided I was going to start boxing again and three months later I was in the ring fighting for the first time in over a decade!
Again, I did it just to prove to myself that I still had it in me. Prove that I could step in the ring and overcome the self doubt that had been building up in my head over the years.
Fortunately I won that fight via 3rd round technical knockout. It was an absolute war though and I wasn't able to chew solid food for a week.
Since then I've attended dozens of different workshops and seminars and have competed in several fitness competitions and adventure races like the Spartan Race and the Tough Mudder.
Another recent challenge my wife and I have taken on is parenthood.
Our son's name is Declan. He's six months old and this has been, by far, the MOST challenging time of our lives. It has also been the most rewarding. He's always jacked full of energy, he doesn't really like to sleep much and he's a total handful.
Like I said though... challenges keep me sharp and they keep me on my toes.
So bring 'em on, I wouldn't have it any other way!
After my last boxing fight.
During a local CrossFit competition.
My wife Marlaena and I after the Spartan Race.
So get out there and challenge yourself this year. I'm not suggesting you go out and have a kid or anything.. but maybe try tandem skydiving, learn to rock climb, sign up for a 10k race or check out that new fitness class you've been thinking about. It might be a wee bit scary at first but once it's over and done with, I promise you'll be thankful you did it!