Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wonder about Discomfort

It is sunday morning 10 am. I take my computer and settle myself on a comfy chair to write this blog. I have swollen lips from playing trumpet for the last half hour and my hand that held the trumpet is exhausted, and my brain is clear and peaceful.

It makes me wonder about discomfort.

I just picked up learning the trumpet and it is so much fun. It is a very physical instrument. You need air (the more you have the better), you need to constantly hold the thing in the air (with a saxophone you have a strap and that takes most of the weight of the hands) and you make sounds by changing the airflow through your lips.

Afterwards I often cannot move my arm for a while, because it is cramping and my lips are a bit swollen. And I feel good... so good.

I wrote in earlier blogs about running and how I feel discomfort for miles into my run. But afterwards I always get to this place of satisfaction. Last week I was lucky to be running along the cost of San Diego, and the views of the sea with seals and birds and beautiful flowers made me want to be uncomfortable every morning. Every day I would run a little further. And every day after my shower I would feel wonderful.

As a person I have avoided discomfort for a long time. I always tried to go with the things that felt good. Only over the last couple of years I started to do things where I do not feel comfortable and challenge myself in new ways.

Yesterday my dad called and we talked a bit. My dad loves music and told me he was going out that night to hear a local band play. He said, “you know that I am not a jealous person, but I really envy people who can play music”. Than he added... “yeah. I know that Mark would say that I should just start playing an instrument but it is not for me...”

Writing this all down my mind wonders to the following questions: “Does not wanting to challenge discomfort mean we are getting old?” Would my dad start to feel younger if he would not hesitate but just start playing an instrument?

In some ways I believe that I was older in the past than I am today. In other ways I am older today than I was as a kid. And now I wonder if that has to do with the areas where I conquer discomfort, and areas where I think I want things a certain way. What would change if I would always embrace discomfort believing that growth and my youth come from doing that?

Have a great Sunday!

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