Are You in Your Growth Zone? Or Pain Zone?


by Don Smith

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Today for my 45th birthday, I decided to go for a PR on the deadlift.

The good news is I hit a new record for myself!

The bad news is my back isn't happy for me.

I knew better; after all, I've created an entire healthy habits program that has helped many people get in shape while still having time for other priorities. But today, my dumb ass went for it. My first rep went up smoothly, so I stupidly tried another. On the second, I felt a “pop” about halfway up and pain radiated down my lower back.

Typing this while still trying to get comfortable, I realize I'm a textbook example of the advice I've given to many over the years. “Stay in your growth zone. That's the place right between your comfort and pain zone.”

What an idiot.

Next time I should listen to my own advice!

Today I decided to venture outside my growth zone and into the pain zone and paid the price. The sweet spot for any growth is just beyond where things are comfortable, but not so far outside your comfort zone that you start breaking stuff, especially yourself.

Don't let your ego rule like I did today unless you want to play in the pain zone. Stay in your growth zone. That's where all the good stuff happens.

Get out there, and make today a great day!

Now, where did I set the ibuprofen again?

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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