Posted by michael stanwyck : Friday, Sep 06, 2013
I'm afraid of a lot of things. I always have been. I'm afraid of the big things, like dying, being terribly sick or injured, breaking bones, being disfigured, and losing people I love. I'm afraid of things like not being liked, not being included, and not living a fulfilling life. I'm afraid of looking stupid, failing, being boring, making a fool out of myself, and being wrong. I'm afraid of strangers and I'm afraid of people that I know.
I've been afraid of most of these things my whole life. A lot of the time, it's stopped me from doing things that I thought looked fun or interesting or exciting. Sometimes because I thought I'd die or be disfigured, and sometimes just because I thought I'd look stupid.
I'm thinking now that being afraid is like being tall. It's just something that I was born with. I've lived my life like it's a reason not to do things that look fun or interesting or exciting. Like being afraid is a reason to not do something any more than being tall is. It's just there. Something I have to deal with if I want to get to the fun and exciting things in life. Not make go away. Deal with.
I didn't skateboard as a kid even though my friends did because I was afraid I'd break my face, suck at it, look stupid, and fail. Same with surfing. Same with playing sports, acting, and playing music (maybe not the break my face part). Now, I'm not saying that I haven't done anything fun or exciting. I've done LOTS of adventurous, fun, and exciting stuff (remind me to tell you sometime about the time I got on a Russian freighter in the middle of the night going from Cambodia to Singapore "for fun"). But my day to day living has often been dampened by conceding to being afraid, by making looking cool and not failing more important than having fun and experiencing excitement.
What am I trying to say? I'm not sure exactly. I don't think I have a quick take home message. I'm not done with being afraid; I'm still working it out. When I found that in spite of all that I've done to conquer fear that it's still right there, right under the surface, clawing at my very being, I discovered that it was the pretending I'm not afraid, not the being afraid, that has stopped me from most things. I've managed being afraid by pretending I'm not. I've pretended I'm not by pretending that those fun, interesting, exciting things don't matter. I looked at my life, what I wanted, and said that it didn't matter. Sucks.
It's the pretending that murders you. Really, it kills off your life. Life is raw and exposed and vulnerable. If you want to live, you have to feel it. Pretending is like a drug. It seems like a good idea at the time. It keeps the demons away for a moment and you can hide the fear, but it only get more insistent. You have to pretend harder every time until you find that you are not even you anymore. You're someone pretending to be a perfect, together you. Sitting perfectly still, not moving a muscle.
So I am afraid, just like I am blonde, just like I am tall, just like I have blue eyes. Just like I'm strong, just like I'm courageous, just like I'm funny. It's something I was born with. It's just in there. It's probably something that has kept me alive (note: I didn't stay aboard that Russian freighter for the trip to Singapore). I'm also raw, vulnerable, and exposed. There's nothing that says that being afraid means I can't be other things. It's just one way to be. Not more or less important than any other way. I've been making it the most important way not to be. If I can be afraid, I can be other things, too. If I can't be afraid, I've already lost. Then there are lots of ways I can't be, and lots of things I can't have. And I won't have it go that way anymore.
THURSDAY'S WORKOUT (CAP)
Week 4: COMPETITION
Franklin Hill Mashup:
6 hill repeats alternating distance and recovery
0:00 Long Sprint (top of hill - 220m)
6:00 Short Sprint (100m)
9:00 Long Sprint
15:00 Short Sprint
18:00 Long Sprint
24:00 Short Sprint
AND COMING FRIDAY (CAP)
Week 4: MENTAL TOUGHNESS
100m KB Carry (24/16)
30 Goblet Lunge (single ct., alt leg - NOT walking)
*25 Burpee Penalty for letting go of KB