Discomfort Zone

23 Jul

I’m not sure why I decided to take up running. It’s been about a year and a half since I took it up seriously and realized today, during my run, that I don’t have very concrete reasons for doing so.

You see, I’m not very good at it. I’m not fast and I don’t run particularly far. I’m a short guy so I don’t have a natural runner’s body. Running is hot and it makes your body hurt in all kinds of places.

On my cool down walk after running 4.5 miles today I decided I wanted to at least attempt to nail down some reasons for repeatedly doing something that is not actually that enjoyable. That’s when it occurred to me that the draw, for me at least, is in accomplishing something at which I’m not naturally gifted.

So how does this have anything to do with education? I’m not entirely sure, but I think that there is value in showing our students how to be comfortable with discomfort. Doing so can only make things easier for them in the long run. How better to prepare them for the unexpected trials of life?


Disclaimer: While the act of running is uncomfortable, the benefits of fitness, better sleep, and more energy are greatly enjoyed.


Posted by on July 23, 2011 in Thinking Out Loud


4 responses to “Discomfort Zone

  1. Stephen Davis

    July 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Nice post on an important topic: deferred joy. Yeah, running often stinks and is hard work. Sounds a lot like school. I think we do our students a favor when we are examples of deferred joy. Acknowledging/empathizing painful/lame things builds trust and relevance with our students…

  2. middleschoolap

    July 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I’m with you! I’ve often said that I don’t like running, but I like having run. The act itself is unpleasant, occasionally painful, and has little to recommend it. The effects, though, are worth it, if one is willing to continue despite the discomfort.

  3. jabiz

    July 24, 2011 at 7:35 am

    • Matt Arguello

      July 24, 2011 at 9:51 am

      That looks very interesting. I will definitely check it out. Thanks.


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