An Uncomfortable Opportunity

Inspired by Stephen’s recent sports-themed post, I decided to continue down the same path. In part 2, we’ll look at how introversion plays out for me on the tennis court and how it’s an opportunity to stretch beyond our comfort zones. There’s a park in my neighborhood that has 8 tennis courts, including a backboard that I sometimes use to not only practice my swing, but also get a IMG_1081good workout. While I do like to play tennis and the social aspect that goes along with it, the backboard is a great way for an introvert like me to have some alone time while doing something I enjoy. I have my plan: go and hit at the backboard for awhile, alone, then leave. Very simple, no surprises.

Recently, while hitting at the backboard, I was approached by someone from the neighborhood who I hadn’t met before. He was looking for someone to hit with on the adjacent tennis courts. I politely declined, saying I didn’t have much time before I had to leave. He was surprisingly persistent however. Another surprise was that I managed to do a quick mind shift and took this as an opportunity to leave the comfort zone and be uncomfortable. I think I was willing to do this since I knew it would be for just a very short amount of time.

It was uncomfortable for me, mainly because my plan for alone time was being unexpectedly disrupted, and just as bad, I was being drawn into small talk with a stranger. But, in retrospect, I felt good about suddenly changing lanes to experience


Just me and the tennis ball

a little discomfort. It’s critical, as introverts (or extroverts), to stay true to ourselves. But it’s also important to once in awhile do things that don’t fall within our comfort zones as one way to keep growing and learning.

Would I do the same thing if confronted with the same situation in the future? Probably, but only every once in awhile. But today, right now, I need to wrap up this blog post so I can get ready to head to the backboard for some quality introverted alone time!

– JR



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