Our gym is a place where, everyday, fears are faced and overcome. Each day these little battles won carry over to our larger personal fights that take longer to beat, whittling down the negatives to a 'thing' that over time (sometimes a long time) we can take down and become master over it.
On the radio last week a topic was brought up, "I have lived my whole life and have never...". People would call in and respond by filling in the blank. The first caller said, "I have lived my whole life and have never mowed a lawn." I thought to myself, maybe they're allergic to grass, maybe they aren't able to physically do it, maybe they have lived in an apartment their whole lives, maybe their spouse just loves to mow and refuses any help. Who knows, there were some valid maybe's, but this caller was just the beginning.
The next caller said, "I have lived my whole life and have never driven on the freeway". Did this 32 year old woman live her whole life in a rural area and never once travel? Or maybe she had someone drive her places. But what if she had to take excessive amounts of time to map a route that specifically avoided the freeway and then more time to drive the side streets. Wow. Now that is a valid fear and it started me thinking.
There are things we should definitely live our whole lives NOT doing. It would've been nice to hear a caller state, "I have lived my whole life and have never driven drunk". Or, "I have lived my whole life and have never stolen". That would've been cool. But this topic turned into what people feared and spent a lot of time avoiding. Things were said like, "I have lived my whole life and have never gone swimming, never traveled, never tried out for a team, never eaten seafood."
There are things that each of us fear, daily, things we suppress...daily. Things we find excuses to avoid doing. Why is it we let those fears dictate who we are and what we do with our lives. How sad to have lived your whole life and have never run a 5k, how sad to have lived your whole live and have never been in great physical shape. How sad to have lived your whole life and to have let the boundaries you have allowed fear to place, prevent you from experiencing new emotions, new feelings, new places, new flavors, new people!
I believe freedom and power come from being not unafraid, but being willing to face the fear. Fears are like roadblocks, we can go around them or over them and they will still be there; but if we bust our way through them then they aren't in our way anymore. To be truly healthy we should try something new, something that scares us, something that challenges us.
I am so glad that I tried my first triathlon, I didn't sleep at all that night and swore I had developed an ulcer the morning of the race. I was so afraid that I wouldn't finish, that I would make a fool of myself, that I would put my helmet on backwards or get out of the pool and have my picture taken with a big booger hanging out of my nose. Thank Heaven for my husband who believed in me and helped me get across the finish line. I was high as a kite all day long with such euphoria and empowerment. Now I am not afraid.
To overcome our fears I have found that naming the fear is the first way to know it. Saying it out loud, writing it down. Then finding little ways to whittle that fear away until it no longer controls you. I know we have all seen this quote and probably have a crumbled up copy of it somewhere, it gets me every time.
I am sometimes afraid that I won't post one of the best times for the workout of the day. And once or twice, I'm ashamed to admit, it has kept me from doing it at all. And now I know it and the next time those workout come up I am determined to complete them no matter how long it takes me.
Being apart of GPP means that we fear, but we deal. And then we come back and do it again. Because then we control that fear, it doesn't control us. Being apart of GPP means that we earn our health and fitness through tears, pain, sweat, and fear. We do it individually, with the support of the GPP community around us. Because we are powerful beyond measure and we believed in living our whole lives...living!