When something scares you, what is your initial reaction? Do you flinch? Do you run? Or do you fight? Whatever your initial reaction is, what is your final reaction?
The past number of weeks has brought so much good change – we rebranded the studio, I developed deeper relationships with my mom and friends, and more that I’m working on. A lot of wholehearted internal work going on, realigning myself and reorienting myself. With so many pieces moving, at times it can be challenging to be fully present at any moment.
A very present moment example I can give is the triathlon I did in Luray, VA this past Sunday.
I’ve been training – I’ve been doing the workouts to get myself ready for my longer triathlon next month. I was feeling pretty good about my plan and my execution. And, I still am, however, I encountered a hiccup this past Sunday.
Triathlon = swim, bike, run.
The swim was open water, in beautiful Lake Arrowhead. However, the lake was way prettier to look at than to swim in, in my opinion. Total swim distance was to be 750m, just under a half of a mile. It should be pretty quick and easy, right?
Well, 50m in, my senses would not get comfortable sticking my face under the murky water. I could not see anything farther than my own hand if that. Cue the anxiety attack that was leaving me unable to swim as I know how to swim. I hung out with the kayakers pretty much the entire time and was one of the last 5 to come out of the lake. You can see my relief to be done with it as I was coming out, haha.
It freaked me out. I had a few options: quit, begrudgingly get through it, or make light of it and still get through because it’s what I had shown up to do.
My response was a cocktail of the latter two options. I hated it, but I knew it would feel way worse for a lot longer if I’d quit, so, that was not an option I could stand. I got through it begrudgingly while making jokes, singing Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and encouraging all the other swimmers (“you’re beating everyone on the couch!”) haha.
The rest of the race was fun. The bicycle course was gorgeous with mountain views (though challenging to climb!) and the run was equally beautiful (yet quite hot at that point in the morning!)
On the tailend looking back at this, I’ve got work to do around that anxiety before I race my half Ironman at the end of next month. I don’t want to back down, I want to do it and I want to feel good about it and not expend so much unnecessary energy on the swim. So, I got in the pool Monday morning and have plans to do more open water swims between now and the end of September (race is Sep 29!).
So, how do you react and how do you ultimately respond to fear? Is it different for different circumstances? Are you comfortable to work with yourself this way?
I believe it can be translated into many areas of our lives.
If something is worth it, it’s worth figuring out.