A thirteen kilometre hike in rough terrain was too much with a bit of a cold. Tests of endurance are not my thing (so far). I was sick the next day. Mental note – it was a bit dumb.

Usually, my favourite activities include reading, writing, dreaming under a tree and drinking tea. The tea goes quite nicely with the reading. I am not action woman.

I do walk a lot but that’s walking to work. It may take an hour but it’s fully paved with moderate hills.

This was different. As I mentioned, it was thirteen kilometres, up and down steep rocky rabbit tracks. My climbing skills came in handy. We had hot sun and icy torrential rain.

In a sudden downpour my glasses streamed with water and fogged up so badly I was better without them. The path was a waterfall. Then the rain stopped and the track steamed.

Around the ten kilometre mark, my legs dragged, my feet ached. I slowed to a stop. I had to talk myself onward, and again.

It wasn’t comfortable but we were alive. And the best bit was the steep rocky path with muddy waterfalls. It made me laugh like a kid.

We do so much to protect our comfort. Hoping to avoid rain and heat and cold. And yet getting caught in the rain was fun. Stomping through mud. Focussing totally. Going almost blind and getting through it.

I’m not so sure that being comfortable is all we hope it is. Being always safe and dry tends to shut down our senses. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have the option, but I’m not sure we should always stay there.

I love hot showers and running water and warmth. And yet, one of the places I felt most alive was the night I spent on an island on Lake Titicaca in Peru. It’s the highest altitude lake in the world. It’s icy. No electricity, no showers. But it was a great place to be alive. The sun set gold on ice-capped mountains. The moon silver on the dark lake.

The next night I was back in relative comfort on the mainland, with a good hot shower. But still…

Step into your Uncomfort Zone occasionally. See how it feels.