“Fear will either create you or destroy you.”
I hadn’t been in long from my morning workout, recovery drink in hand, when I finally landed in a chair and searched up the race I had started training for.
I ran my hand down my legs which were still gritty and grimy from time out on the road and covered in a heavy dose of dried salt …a shower would come soon but first…
My running and cycling that morning had been a part of my training for a local duathlon… my first duathlon.
Of course the fact it was listed as “the toughest in the state” or that it was the “championship race” for this type of event somehow hadn’t scared me off yet.
The website boldly unfolded in front of me… pictures popped up of familiar scenery I was used to seeing out on my runs or cycling adventures.
I felt the excitement stir in me of taking on something new and challenging.
It was immediately followed by tears as I watched young, fast athletes speeding by.
What was I thinking?? I’m skating into territory I have no experience in nor am I one of these young trained triathletes. I’ve never, ever done an event like this. I’m crazy.
For the love of chocolate, I’m an ordinary middle aged Mom/grandmother, what I am thinking??
This course is tough. I have a healthy dose of respect/fear for it.
Not in a weird way, but just a respect knowing that it will be by far, the hardest athletic challenge I’ve gone through.
If I’m honest with you, as I was myself, there was that component of feeling scared.
What was scaring me? What did I feel afraid of?
Ok, yes I understood it would be crazy hard. So maybe there was feeling scared of what if’s…
What if I couldn’t do it? What if I failed? What if I was last? Or worse, didn’t finish?
I sat there comparing myself to younger athletes instead of giving myself credit for all I could do and was very capable of doing. I sat there forgetting my own strength and power that I had earned through hours and hours of training.
I lost sight of what I preach to everyone else… you are your competition. You only need to focus on your times, your speeds, your abilities.
No one else’s matter.
Unless you’re an elite. Then it matters very much hahaha 😛
I’ve never been concerned about anyone else’s times or paces. I don’t mentally pit myself against others and decide I’m lacking in some way so this was a foreign feeling to me.
I wiped my face which felt as gritty from dried sweat as my legs did… that shower would need to be soon….
I reminded myself that I was my only competition and if I never started, and never did it, and let some vague fear scare me off I’d never know what new levels I could take myself to.
I’ve had moments in the past as I considered the marathon, and then the 50K. If those don’t raise a tiny bit of feeling scared in you, I don’t know what will.
Thing is, I never, ever allowed myself to camp in the fear zone. I stomped it down, trained, and did it.
So here I am. Registration is now open and I’ve made the official commitment.. you know…. coughing up the money 😉
I know it will be hard but I’m looking forward to seeing how I can do with this. I’ve taken time to remember, I haven’t come out of an athletic back round but only started when I was in my mid 40’s and consider all I’ve been privileged to do.
Doing it is the thing. No matter what, when I cross that finish line, I will win.
I win because I stomped down fears and feelings of inadequacy and I will have accomplished something I’ve never done and I will be stronger for it.
It beats sitting around wondering if I COULD do it and missing out on all I learn in the process. Rest assured, you will be getting updates on my training in the upcoming months. Race day is Nov. 19.
So I’ll leave you with this…
Do you let fears hamper you from pursuing something bigger than you? Have you allowed them to and not gone after something you wanted?
Or… have you stomped down fears and chased something down you wanted? How did you feel?
What did you do to remind yourself you could do it? How did you overcome it?
Tell me I’m not the only one who’s encountered this 😉
“Every single one of us possesses the strength to attempt something he isn’t sure he can accomplish.” ~ Scott Jurek
5 thoughts on “The Thing That Scares You”
“NO CAMPING IN THE FEAR ZONE!” I LOVE it. Inspiring read–just what I needed with a sore calf one week out from marathon training (my first!). Thanks!!
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Thank you! And good for you! The marathon certainly grows you in new ways. Do you foam roll your legs?
I do, and I have great success with my hips and IT band and glutes. The cavs and hamstrings are harder for me though. I do do them, but never feel like I have the stamina to get in there and keep the pressure where it needs to be for long enough. Wondering if maybe I should try one of the knobbier rollers?
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I roll on a pvc pipe 😛 I’ve heard good things about the new harder rollers. I did some PT couple years ago and they got me on the pipe. She informed me my muscles were used to foam and I’d adjust to pipe. I did and now it’s pretty much all I use… oh and it’s cheap too 😛
Calves! Not cavs!! Too much basketball for me 😜.
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