There is no doubt in my mind that FEAR is a good thing. FEAR is what keep adults from walking away from their jobs and living a life of self indulgence. FEAR is what keeps kids from getting too close to the edge of the cliff or building. FEAR I think was a gift given to us by our creator to help keep us pointed in the correct direction. Unfortunately, as we do with most things we have turned it into something more than I believe it is intended.
We now use FEAR to keep us from things that are going to make us better. Countless women and men stay in relationships with partners that are abusive either mentally or physically because they are afraid that no one else will love them. Many people refuse to jump out and live their dream because it will take a lot of work and probably hurt financially for a while before they can make it what they want. Millions of us are overweight because the idea of getting up and moving enough to burn the needed calories is going to hurt and be uncomfortable.
I am not pointing fingers at anyone on that last one except myself. I went years trying to convince myself to be a runner. I would go out and run some, but I could never push myself past that point that hurt and made me worry about if I could do it. I would stop and give up for a while until I was ready to try again. This went on for a few years and while that was happening my weight was continually going up.
What finally worked for me though was that very same FEAR. All of a sudden, I realized that at my size I wasn’t healthy enough to be around for my family as long as I wanted to be and in the way that I wanted to be. The FEAR of not being there for them was suddenly greater than the FEAR of how bad it hurt. Since then running has become a passion that I look forward to instead of stressing over. It still hurts. Believe me it still hurts.
Last Saturday I ran farther than I ever have before and when I was done I walked back to the car like a 105 year old man. It was painful and I wouldn’t change it for the world. That pain is what is preparing me to go even farther this Saturday. I now know that I can do 15 miles. This Saturday I will find out that even though it is going to hurt I can do 16 miles. This pattern will continue to build until I reach the point of 26.2 on May 21 at the Horse Capital Marathon.
I really enjoyed the training and races I did last year. I worked up to doing two half marathons and felt good about my accomplishments. I told my family that I had no desire to do a full marathon. That was just FEAR talking. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do a full at the pace that I would want. FEAR convinced me that I should stick with what I know and be satisfied. I don’t want to be a person that is satisfied with being good enough any more. I want to exceed expectations put on me. Expectations from others and more importantly from me.
I live my life a lot different right now than I did 4 years ago. I believe that FEAR held me back for over 35 years from doing things that would make me stronger. Now I have a faith in God that is stronger than ever because I finally faced the FEAR of letting Him have control of my life. Now I have a healthier body that I can use as a tool to spend time with my family because I moved past the Fear of not being able to get past the pain of exercise. Your FEAR may not be holding you back from the same things as it did me, but I bet there is something. I can promise you that you have to get uncomfortable to grow.
Wrap your mind around the idea that your comfort isn’t the ultimate goal. Becoming a better/healthier person is the ultimate goal.
Let FEAR play its healthy role in your life, but don’t let FEAR hold you back from the things that will make you stronger.