Get Comfortable being Uncomfortable

384736_10152873612975578_1734063487_nLast year around this time I realized I was starting to live my life too comfortably. What I mean by this statement is that I wasn’t taking any chances, I wasn’t putting myself in new situations and I definitely wasn’t jumping off any cliffs! After really thinking about this realization, I found myself wanting to change something in my daily routine.

I thought about starting a habit that I could do each day for a year and see how I would change. I read about people doing all kinds of different daily habits from writing a letter to someone for a year, to completing an act of kindness for a stranger every day. These were powerful stories and had amazing impacts on people, but they weren’t what I was looking for. I wanted something that was going to put me out of my comfort zone. I wanted something that was going to stretch my ability to get back into that tedious routine.

It wasn’t until a week after I had this initial thought that I read a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “You should do one thing every day that scares you.” Now obviously she didn’t mean watch scary movies or stand in a room full of spiders. She was talking about comfort zones. It was this exact quote that stuck with me, and it was then I realized I was going to spend a year of my life trying to do one thing every-single-day that scared me.

I was going to challenge myself to move away from that cozy place where stress and risk are minimized by a steady level of comfort. Now there is some science behind doing something every day that scares you; it will make you more productive and it will prepare you for new and unexpected changes. But by pushing those boundaries I personally have found it to harnesses opportunity and creativity.

I took Eleanor’s quote and I applied it to my life. Almost a year later, I received a daily journal from my mom to record each scary moment. I have found that whether it is speaking in front of an audience or simply jumping off a cliff, I am more willing to take on the challenge today than I was a year ago. I have experienced so many more opportunities in my life because I am not missing out due to the fear of being uncomfortable.

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The Story of a Denver Transplant

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This is the story of a Denver transplant.

To many on the east coast, moving “out west” becomes like taking an expedition to Mars…maybe not that extreme, but Colorado to many out East has an image of a mystical land, with Mountains and good beer and legal marijuana…I mean in your early 20’s, to many, this is highly attractive, liberating sort of a” play loud rock and roll music and no one can stop me” teenage feeling the first time you see the Rocky Mountains. They emerged, and were magnificent and huge and I was terrified in suddenly realizing I had zero friends…

This is also the story of a Denver transplant, and a thank you to this Denver transplants friends.

First of all, I should make it clear that I am from New Jersey. Although a HUGE part of me adores craft beer, hiking, skiing and all of the wonders that come with living in proximity to the mountains, I am and always will be a Jersey girl…who didn’t know how to pump her own gas until college.

Ask any of my friends and I am the first person to crack a joke about “the dirty jerz.” I am often told that I don’t look like I’m from New Jersey (apparently, we Jersians have a look? Characteristically like Snookie or GTL…if you don’t know what GTL means watch Jersey shore.) I am admittedly the BIGGEST fan of Wawa Hoagie Fest (if you don’t know what a WAWA is, I am sad for you) and no, a SUB is not a hoagie. My good friends here probably want to kill me every time I talk about going “down the shore.” If you think bacon is good, you’ve never had pork roll.

As much as I joke about New Jersey, and it’s Jersey ways, I am grateful for my childhood. For being able to take a 10 minute drive for a good Philly cheese-stake, and understanding “wiz wit o’ witout.” For memorial day weekends, sticking all limbs out the window with new license teenage freedom and screaming in glee as salty air sprayed our sunglasses and tossled our hair. Watching the sun glisten in the diamondy bay from the highway. Sucking on a strand of my salty hair walking back from the beach. Replacing dips in the ocean for showers. Eating ice-cream on the jetti and watching the sun set. Walking back from the beach barefoot and watching the sunrise sideways as we layed on a surfboard. Twizzlers and seagulls and long sunny naps. Bagels. Fudgy wugies and run the bases and the boardwalk. Water-ice. Family. Cousins.

We all have these “things” from our childhoods and hometowns that Denver doesn’t have, but the thing is I’ve found a discovery here, a sense of freedom and love and friendship that has replaced that first smell of salty air feeling (don’t get me wrong…I was really really sad not being by an ocean this summer.)

For a Denver transplant, it’s normal to sit at a random bar table and hear “Minnesota, Chicago, California” as hometowns. For a Denver transplant, fresh powder is the hardest thing to ever learn to ski on (but also the best thing ever). For a Denver transplant, you’ll miss snow days and appreciate the sun and dry air (humidity can be awful.)

For this doe-eyed Denver transplant, I was looking for an out, I was tired of the traffic of the cut-throat east coast personalities, I needed to discover and learn and grow and hastily took a year long service position without thinking much about the implications (which looking back was a little irresponsible.) Also…like many fresh out of college grads, I needed to stretch my legs a little. I had an idea of where I wanted my life to go…but really didn’t have a clue. Sadly organic chemistry and frat parties don’t give you much experience.

The thing is, looking back on the past year, that can’t breathe kind of feeling summiting a mountain has replaced the feeling of the salt air. The smell of fresh aspens and looking at the skyline sunsets has taken place of the jetti and ice cream. The “clear your head” ability to submerge yourself in wilderness whenever you want, as long as you have access to a car is unbelievable. Discovering the widespread vast tear jerking beauty, the kind that reminds you to look up from the trail every once in a while. Conquering your first black diamond and actually thinking you might break your legs. Falling head first into a tree (yikes…this unfortunately happened.) Encountering the “nice” personalities that hold the door and want to talk to you. Falling asleep to the sounds of crickets and wildlife while cocooning yourself in a thermal sleeping bag mid-summer. The triumph of carrying everything on your back for 19 miles, and finally reaching the top. The satisfaction of living simply. Early morning trail runs. The lingering campfire smell on your hair. The abundance of craft breweries and new favorite beers. Music. Cheap, good, wonderful live music.

The thing is…I would have never had these experiences if it wasn’t for the friends I’ve made, the people who were willing to adventure with me and take these risks. The families that welcomed me into their homes for the Thanksgivings I couldn’t afford to go home, the friends that gave me the hats and gloves and jackets and hiking boots to have some of these experiences (these items are very difficult to fit into a suitcase when you only move out with one…did I mention this move was irresponsible?) The people who welcomed me into their already existing friend groups, have watched (and mostly listened) to me vent my way through some growing pains of relationships and hardships and transitions. For those craigslist friends that just spend a day staring at art with me and talk of travel. The road trips and new states and rocks.

The truth is…Denver, like any other city, is just a place, it’s the people that have made this place home. I’m not the first person to hastily move here, to have that terrified no-friends feeling getting off the plane feeling.

While I may be a tiny bit wiser (mind you…I’ve accrued a very negligible amount of wisdom…I still have a LOT to learn) I know I still have a lot of moves I want to make, and friends that I will have, and mountains to climb (ignore the cheesy pun…) I’ve learned a lot from this place but even more from the relationships I’ve formed.

So this is a synopsis of Colorado from a Denver transplants eyes, and the story is similar for many. The interests and the feelings and the sticker covered Nalgene water bottles and love of beer. More-so this is a thank you to my friends here…because if there is one thing I’ve learned in my short lived “real world” experiences, it’s not where you are, it’s who your with that makes life (and crazy moves) worth it.

-Rachel McAuley

 

Europa Cup Podium

It looks like another RooEpic, epic athlete has struck the podium this season! We are so excited to announce that yesterday our epic athlete, Abby Ghent earned her first Europa Cup podium of her ski racing career. The race was held in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria after the Women’s World Cup speed races. Abby was just .61 seconds behind first place earning her third overall. What a success! Abby will race again today so make sure to cheer her on!

To follow Abby’s progress this season check out her blog About Me and her Instagram account Abby Ghent Instagram

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365 Burpees in 2016

The 2016 Burpee Challenge

For the year of 2016 RooEpic is encouraging all of our followers to join us in the Burpee Challenge! Yes we said Burpee Challenge!

Every day for the year of 2016 we will add one more burpee to our daily workout routine (the push-ups we are making optional) until we reach 365 burpees by the end of the year. We know this may seem impossible right now, but with friends and followers we are all in this together and we will help you along the way.

Good luck and may 2016 be the year of our best!

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Epic Athlete claims her first World Cup win

We are so excited to congratulate Mikaela Matthews on claiming her first career World Cup win at the Ruka, Finland FIS Freestyle dual moguls opener today! Looks like this ski season is off to a great start!

Follow Mikaela on Facebook and Instagram

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Epic Athlete Lane Stoltzner

RooEpic is proud to announce our newest member, Lane Stoltzner, to the Epic Athlete Team!

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Lane is a freestyle mogul skier on the US Freestyle Ski Team. When we caught up with Lane earlier this week, this is what we learned:

Lane began prepping for the 2015-2016 ski season last May. She has been training on the trampoline, water ramp, and on-snow training 118 days. In addition she has been in the gym at least that many days. Just thinking about all that work wears a us out…

“But training and being an athlete is what makes me love my sport so much.”

When we asked Lane about sleep, we realized she should also be a professional sleeper.

“I love to sleep! I generally sleep anywhere from 8-10 hours a night and take naps most days that we have time between training sessions.”

We also think we should all be invited over for dinner some time…Lane’s house next Friday anyone?

“I love to cook- when we are on the road it is to continue eating healthy and hearty foods. When we are at home, I love to have people over for dinner.”

Most importantly Lane has a secret weakness for pomegranates.

“They are the best!”

And the extra tidbits that make Lane the perfect RooEpic Epic Athlete!

“I don’t know how to smile for a picture without laughing.”

“My current goal is to make it through a whole ski day without having cold toes.”

Finally and most importantly:) Lane loves RooEpic Superbands.

“Superbands are what I love most about RooEpic! I wear one for my on-snow warm up almost everyday.”

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We are so excited to finally have Lane representing RooEpic! To follow her journey this season check her out on Facebook  and Instagram .

The pros and cons of going to a coffee shop to work, productive or preoccupied?

When it comes to drinking a hot latte and getting homework done, I am one of the biggest coffeeshop fans out there. I believe it is a fair statement to say I have been to every single coffeeshop in the city of Boulder, Colorado.

People leafing through the paper, working on their laptops, and reading the latest bestseller novel accompanied by the soft clink of coffee mugs and the whir of the cappuccino machine usually creates the ideal creative atmosphere. I leave the coffee shop crossing off my to-do list and feeling lightness in my step that accompanies the end of a solid productive session.

But, sometimes it doesn’t work out like that. Sometimes I leave the coffee shop wondering how I could have even more work to do than when I arrived and how did I spend so much money?

This got me thinking, what makes a trip to the coffee shop a nice, relaxing and efficient experience and what makes it a waste of time?

Cons:

  1. This music is so loud I cannot hear myself think.
  2. I just spent $20 on a coffee and muffin, I could’ve made that at home for $5!
  3. It is easy to zone out and do some people watching… If I was reading that book I don’t think I would be reading it in public… I didn’t realize there was a road biking dress code at this coffee shop….
  4. The productive procrastination paradox…. This can happen anywhere but I find it happens in coffee shops when the atmosphere is too noisy or the shop is too busy. This entails checking my email for the third time that hour, making a grocery list, reading up on the news… all productive things to do, though not the reason I came to a coffee shop.
  5. The person on their cell phone. Surely everyone knows how annoying it is to listen to other people’s phone conversations!
  6. Where are the outlets in this place?! My computer is about to die and there is not a vacant outlet to be found.
  7. I don’t really feel like ordering another drink but since I’ve been sitting here for hours I probably should.
  8. That one person taking up the biggest table.
  9. Parking can be tricky, especially if it is metered, getting up to feed the meter disrupts my creative flow!
  10. It is socially unacceptable for me to lie down and take a nap.

Pros:

  1. Coffee, it’s a coffee shop after all.
  2. A different location than the desk at home or work can reinvigorate creativity.
  3. Other people reading and working is inspiring, if they are sitting here getting work done, so can I.
  4. Snacks, if its going to be a long session, what better work/study fuel than a yummy muffin or croissant?
  5. The background noise of grinding beans and foaming milk provided by the baristas drowns out most conversations.
  6. Open early. Coffee shops are open at the crack of dawn so all the coffee fanatics may start their day with a nice cuppa joe.
  7. Its neither home nor work allowing for a space free from the typical distractions of both locations.
  8. Climate controlled, the perfect temperature for all seasons as opposed to my house that can reach soaring temps in the summer and bone chilling temps in the winter.
  9. Supremely fast wifi.
  10. It is socially unacceptable for me to lie down and take a nap.

Cheers to coffee and the weekend!