We are afraid for any number of reasons: Failure, looking stupid, screwing up, and getting injured are some of these shared fears. These emotionss even stop some people from competing at all. Great competitors are at an advantage when it comes to fear, they all know that the other people on the starting line are also afraid. The reason these great competitors are successful is they are afraid, yet they act anyway. They go after what they want and ultimately enjoy the rewards. They believe that if they do fail, look stupid or get injured they aren’t and even if they appear weak for a moment they’re not. These runners know that not trying is far worse than failing.
If you are in a place where fear is stopping you from starting a work-out plan, or committing to that new 5k just remember, your fears are in great company, and not trying is far worse than failing.
When I coached HS athletics, I had an athlete who shared this childhood story with me. His was a story of a 10 year old boy who was so overweight that he could not run at all. He overcame his fears, and walked every day until he could jog. While he was jogging people would pass by and laugh at him. He was afraid to be ridiculed, and he hated being called “the fat boy who looked stupid”, yet he acted anyway. Through the hundreds of miles, and 6 years of running, he never lost his fear. He once confided in me “Coach Mac, I’m afraid they will laugh at me again, and every time I come to the starting line I use it”. He found a way to use his fear, and I think you can too. Overcoming his emotions lead him into becoming a sub 2 minute high school 800 meter runner.
What will overcoming your fears lead you to?