Fear...my least favorite emotion. No one enjoys feeling sad, or guilty, or emotionally drained...but all of these other negative emotions have a positive side. They are catalysts. Guilt can move you to become a better person. Sadness passes, leaving you to appreciate the positive. And once you are drained dry, you are left without a choice other than to move on to better things. Fear, though...fear freezes you in place. It prevents forward momentum, and keeps you shut tight. It seals you off to all the wonderful things that are out there, waiting for you to reach out and grab them. Fear is a coffin.
Behind every "can't," "won't," and "no" lies fear. Imagine if every possibility of achieving something against all odds was met with complete, utter fearlessness. Really, just take a moment to reflect on this, this idea of living without hesitation or overthinking...just pure confidence and determination to make it happen. Think about what a different path your life could have taken if you had never succumbed to your desire for safety. If you refused to give in that little voice that tells you how much it will hurt when you try.
The possibilities would be endless, wouldn't they? You would just dive into life, without any second thoughts. Second thoughts simply wouldn't exist in this place of mindless abandon.
I've always had a fear around falling, getting hurt, experiencing physical pain (in fact, I think my fear of pain was a motivating factor that drove me toward pursuing a career based on alleviating suffering). Even in most limber years, I was careful to avoid situations where I might end up battered and bruised. And now, in my late thirties, it's gotten even worse. I live in terror of icy driveways, of contact sports, of accidental tumbles. In my personal life, I feel fairly courageous, but physically? I'm a huge wuss.
This is why I have so much respect for those who are willing to push themselves to the very limits of their endurance. The endorphin junkies that run marathons and participate in things like the Tough Mudder live in a completely different world than I do. Their world is pain, and struggling, and tearing things...and it's okay with them. They have accepted pain as a part of it all, and so have let go of the fear surrounding it. I envy them.
Recently I learned of an obstacle race coming to Boston called the Reebok Spartan Race. It's hardcore. Check it out here: http://spartanracemedia.com/ This is the sort of thing I'm talking about; how incredible must it feel to know just how far your body can take you? To ultimately discover how much you are truly capable of?
Thinking about entering? For those endorphin enthusiasts out there, tell me, what is it that you get out of pushing yourself to your physical limit? The first to answer will receive a free racecode for the Spartan Race! All other readers can click on this link to receive 15% off of any Spartan Race: http://bit.ly/spartanwarrior.