Leaving My Comfort Zone

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A comfort zone is a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress.
– From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

fysbigDuring my vacation with my wife and my 16-year-old daughter Lilli in Ireland this summer, I had to leave my comfort zone and to push my personal boundaries twice.

I try to do this once in a while to extend my comfort zone as you can see in previous entries on paragliding (also with Lilli) and on speaking in front of large audiences. I usually create a video which makes it it easier to recall these impressions later.

This time my fear of “wild” animals and again my acrophobia were concerned.

The first video shows how the two of us climbed up the Diamond Hill (450 m / PDF-map) in Connemara National Park. The more we proceeded the more steep an complicated our ascent became. About 50 meters below the summit I found myself in a situation where I didn’t feel like going further nor like going back. Sitting on a wet stone in a cloud, I was looking a few hundred meters down. With the mental support of Lilli, I finally reached the summit and found, as she had already assumed, the way down much easier than going back to where we came from.

The second video shows a regular hiking tour where we had to pass a herd of bulls (only separated by a thin electrical fence, which not really should be an obstacle for a raging bull) and later three horses without a fence between us. While the bulls showed no interest at all when we went a small path between their fence and a stone wall, the horses came up quickly to inspect us and I (obviously successfully) tried to calm them down. As I’m not used to deal with cattle or horses nor seeking their company on a regular basis, these were very exciting encounters.

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