Expanding your comfort zone

My friend Roger felt like his life is just passing by him without much excitement. So he asked me for a couple coaching sessions to act as a sounding board and to help him find a way out of it. During our first coaching session, we soon got to talk about his comfort zone and Roger realized that it was about time to expand it.

When I asked him, how he would feel, once his comfort zone was enlarged at least by a third, I knew it hit the spot, when a big smile hushed over his face, as he responded to me. It would enlarge his life, he would gain more confidence to tackle new things and new perspectives would open up for him, while he would overcome his fears. That is exactly what needs to happen for him to give his life a boost in excitement. We both agreed that Roger needs to take risks to feel alive. So now we were looking for a real challenge to pulverize his old comfort zone.

We often go to Flims, a little village in the Swiss Alps, where I partially grew up and where I always go back in summertime for hiking, biking and swimming in lake Cauma and in wintertime for some awesome skiing, as this is one of the best destinations in Europe for it. While being at the Lake Cauma, my mind wandered, thinking up a challenge for Roger. Suddenly a great idea popped into my head. Flims lays at the foot of a large rock, called Flimserstein “stone of Flims”.  It is exactly here where Roger’s challenge will take place. He would join me in Flims later in the day, what perfect timing to brief him and get his agreement.

In the middle of an impressive rock wall of the „Flimserstein” lays a little meadow, called Pinut, which was agriculturally used back in the 18th century, even though the grass harvested from would only be enough to feed one cow during a hard winter. This meadow and the plateau of the Flimserstein above could only be reached over a small and treacherous path. To this day cows are kept during summer time on top of the Flimserstein only to come down in a spectacular parade in autumn.

During tourism development in the region one hundred years ago, the dangerous path was modified and made less risky by installing iron ladders to offer a thrilling adventure for daring people. Over the years the iron ladders were rusting away and this adventurous path to the top of the Flimserstein was all but forgotten. Just a few years ago the Pinut was reinstated by some enthusiastic climbers and opened again to all thrill seekers; and now it is Roger’s turn to expand his comfort zone right here in a big way.

The Flimserstein ( Stone of Flims) is the leftover of a gigantic rock fall that happened around ten thousand years ago. With over eight thousand cubic meters of rock, it is the biggest rockslide that ever happened in the Alps. The valley was completely filled up and over thousands of years new lakes were created, Lake Cauma being one of them and the dammed Rhine river carved his way back through  the rock mass, leaving behind and impressive gorge, the “Ruinalta”, also known as the Swiss Grand Canyon.

In the evening before we headed out we beefed up on self made hamburgers after finishing our pre-expedition coaching session addressing fears and inner voices. Roger was ready for his adventure. The next morning we got our gear and headed out early up to the Flimserstein. the last five miles we walked up hill through meadows with cows until we reached the bottom of the rock. Now looking straight up, we sure had quite a challenge ahead of us! The Pinut - straight up there, that's where we are going to go! Carefully we climbed up the vertical ladders step by step. We made sure every step was secured, as a slip would have been fatal. Fortunately we also had a snap hook attached to a security rope to keep us safe.

Those iron ladders looked like a maze reaching into the sky! Roger felt more and more comfortable in the elements. After close to three hours we reached the summit. Both felt happy to have achieved our challenge. After a brief rest on the plateau of the Flimserstein, we made our way down taking the very same treacherous and small cow path down the otherside of the mountain.

Finally we reached the bottom again...looking back up the Pinut a very last time, we were content and Roger was happy to have experienced how it felt to expand his comfort zone...he will never go back to his old state... because he went there, where magic happens...and now he wants some more!