Challenge Yourself

My Friend Gene Is Rather Extraordinary…

Gene Gurkoff is the founder of Charity Miles ( and shared his idea for a monthly self-challenge. I think it’s a great idea.

“This morning, after I finished my run, I joined the local pickup ice hockey game in my neighborhood.

I’ve never played ice hockey before. I can probably count the number of times I’ve ice skated on one hand. (Luckily the rink had skates and a stick for me.)

I was pretty nervous as I put my rental skates on and saw the other guys playing. They all knew what they were doing. As I learned later, a few of them played in college.

I only grew more nervous as I waited my turn in the pickup rotation. These guys were fast, graceful and powerful. Each time they slammed into the boards, my chest grew tighter.

As one guy would signal that he was ready to take a break, another guy would step over the boards to take his place.

They all did that so easily. One leg over, then the other. Like you see on TV.

When it was my turn to take the ice, I hoisted myself over the boards on my stomach like a beached whale.

Then I took two steps on my skates, fell up into the air like a taco, and landed flat on my butt. Just like you’d see in the movies.

I was mortified. And I felt terrible about crashing (literally) their pickup game.

Fortunately, the guys were all very friendly. One of them picked me up. Asked if I was okay, and told me not to worry about it.

Then I got my skates under me, and just played.

Not well. But I played.

I made a few good defensive stops and some good passes. I even had 2 assists. And I almost scored a goal.

It was so much fun! I’m going to try to play every weekend this winter 🙂

Every Saturday last winter, I’d walk past these guys playing hockey. I’d think to myself: That looks like fun. I should try that.

But I never did. Because I was too comfortable in my running routine. And, if I’m being totally honest with myself, I was also scared.

So this week, I decided: F that! (Pardon my french.)

What’s the worst that can happen?

(Aren’t I always spouting off about the importance of getting out of your comfort zone.)

So this morning, I woke up a bit earlier, got in my run, and headed out to the rink.

I’m so glad I did. And I hope you’ll all join me by doing something new, exciting and maybe even a little bit scary too!



P.S. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But as I turn 40 this month, I’m determined to test the hell out of that theory.

My “resolution” for my 40th year is to try something new every month.

A new sport, a new food, a new book, a new workout, a new hobby.

Something new. Every month.

I’m looking for ideas…”

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