Challenge Yourself – A Personal Post

On the Great Wall – 1996

I don’t often write personal posts on this blog, about once a year or so, and in fact I just checked and my last personal post was on July 16th, 2013 (almost a year ago). Funny thing is that the personal posts always get way more views and comments than the business posts – so I guess I should do it more often.

Why Challenge Ourselves? 

I think it’s important for us to really challenge ourselves every once in while. Do something that is a little, or a lot, out of our comfort zone. Yes, it’s scary and by definition ‘uncomfortable’ because we might fail, or hurt or embarrass ourselves. And it also makes us feel truly alive. It’s in us, we just have to face the fear, say what’s the worst thing that could happen, and then go for it.

Looking back, I have challenged myself many times, sometimes deliberately and other times without really realizing it.

A Few Personal Challenges 

  • When I was 26, I sold everything I owned (which wasn’t much), bought a Lonely Planet guide book and a one-way ticket to Australia and started traveling on my own, without much of a plan. I ended up traveling for 2 years before landing in Japan where I lived for another 8. Turned out to be the best experience of my life and where I met my wife.
  • In 2004 my wife and I decided to move our whole family to Victoria from Toronto without a job or much of a plan. No complaints about that one!
  • A few years ago I (with partner Paul Holmes) took a chance and decided to start a  Social Media Camp. I’m pretty happy with how that has turned out.
  • I have challenged myself physically as well with stuff like climbing Mt. Fuji (twice – almost didn’t make it the first time), running the TC 10K (I wanted to do a half marathon but chickened out) and doing the Ryder Hesjedal Tour de Victoria, 90km ride.

Recently my riding buddy Renaat, challenged me to join him on a 200km, two-day group cycle fundraiser called Cycle of Life. I was hesitant at first as I haven’t been riding much the last year and have gained a few pounds (more than a few actually). But funny how things work because that’s also what motivated me to take on the challenge. Along with the fact that it’s going to be an awesome ride, check out the route map, and we are raising funds for hospice care on Vancouver Island. I have exactly 60 days to get ready, so I started training yesterday with an absolutely gorgeous 45km ride up to Brentwood Bay. Today I’m feeling very sore, and very much ALIVE.

This is where I ask you to either:

a) challenge yourself to join us on this two-day ride; or

b) help me in my efforts to support Victoria Hospice by visiting my page and making a donation. My goal is $500 but I think I can do even better, with your help.

Have you challenged yourself recently? I would love to hear about your experiences. Please use the comments box below.

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3 thoughts on “Challenge Yourself – A Personal Post”

  1. Congratulations on the spirit of this personal post.
    Every year I write and publish a Bucket List that is really more of a mission statement than a laundry list. I am pretty gentle with myself in measuring my success and have seen some items make an annual appearance since I started many years ago.
    This year I added a word – a motto – for the year: joy.
    I am so busy working that I forget to pursue joy.
    Now – I’ve done a few things in pursuit of joy.
    I have conquered my horrible fear of tiny planes. I took a seaplane trip from YVR to YYJ this year. It was joyous. It was kind of terrifying.
    Great work on the 200kms and the $500.
    Will make a modest contribution and follow your success.

  2. Thanks Sherri. Joy is good. Congrats on overcoming your tiny plane fear. You get such a beautiful view of the islands from there – it’s nice to be able to enjoy it…


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