A note about fear

To meet me, you might not know what a fearful person I am.

I sign up to run marathons with dreams of Boston.

I just started learning how to properly swim freestyle so I can become an Ironman triathlete.

I’ve taken multiple vacations to remote places alone.

I’ll speak my mind, and I’m not worried about offending people with my opinion.

I try new things. I fail. I try again. And smile and laugh through most of it.

I ask people in powerful jobs questions they don’t want to answer and hold them accountable.

While I’m no thrill seeker, cliff diving or jumping out of airplanes or whatever, I go out into this world and do shit.

But on a daily basis, I operate with a lot of fear. It’s a raging monster. At times, it’s crippling. Today while on a bike ride, I had to actually stop and get off because my emotional fear (about something completely unrelated to cycling) was turning into panic. Once, I went to the emergency room because I couldn’t breathe and felt faint only to have them tell me there was nothing wrong with me physically, that it was a panic attack. I had to tell my boss that I had a panic attack. An expensive one.

My saving grace is that my courage is just stronger than my fear. At the moment of truth, I go for it.

No, no, no, I won’t chug this disgusting shot of beer and liquor and orange juice. “Who wants one?” “I DO!” Silly example, but valid.

Last week, I started going to masters swim to learn how to do a proper freestyle. I almost didn’t go. But I jumped in that pool and I swam 800 meters that day. I was on top of the world. The next session, I almost didn’t go. Then I swam 1,000 meters and swam a full length of the pool for the first time. Four times.

At the moment of truth, I turn from a cowering mouse into fucking Wonder Woman with my Lasso of Truth and a magical sword.

Here’s the thing: Fear does not have to decide your story. Fear can rage as much as it wants, but when it comes down to it, it doesn’t have to win.

 

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