Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

[That’s actually an Eleanor Roosevelt quote–did you know that? I did not.]

I got the questions today for the panel I’m speaking on, and my heart has been pounding all day. Once I figure out how I’m answering them and what I’m wearing, I’ll feel much better about this whole situation. Agreeing to this? Scared me. (In a good way.)

Biking last night? Scared me. (In a good way?)

The tri plan that I’m very loosely following so far had me swimming for 20 minutes and running for 25.

Screen shot 2011-05-12 at 8.17.35 PM.png

I was TERRIFIED of the swimming part.

Afraid there was some secret society of swimmers that had crazy rules I didn’t know.

Afraid I’d take the wrong turn from the locker room to the pool and walk in somewhere looking really dumb.

Afraid I’d slip on the pool deck and fall spectacularly.

Afraid I’d hit someone in the head (oops, that did happen 🙁 ) or kick someone swimming–or be kicked or hit in the head.

Afraid I’d put my swim cap on wrong.

Afraid I’d put my goggles on wrong.

Strangely enough, I wasn’t much concerned about the actual swimming part. I thought that my endurance from running a marathon meant that I had tons of endurance for every other sport. Strangely enough, the actual swimming part was more to worry about than everything else I freaked out about. (Although I did slip on the pool deck and stub my toe on a railing–but at least the railing broke my fall.)

I also wasn’t concerned (for more than the first 15 seconds after I pulled it on) about wearing a bathing suit in front of others. That alone is a pretty kickass feeling.

It’s certainly humbling to try something “new.” I did half a season of swim team in high school before getting injured and bailing, but swimming as an adult is definitely relatively new to me and definitely outside my comfort zone. I told the two ladies that I shared a lane with that I was new to this whole “swimming laps” thing. They were didn’t have to, and I’m pretty sure they were lying, but they told me I looked fast. Well, alright. I ended up swimming for about a half hour or so, and I was really proud of myself afterwards for facing my fear.

While being afraid of looking dumb at the gym is a pretty superficial fear, getting over these smaller fears (and getting over big, but still relatively superficial fears, like running a marathon) has helped me a lot with fear outside of physical pursuits. I know that usually there’s an amazing feeling associated with getting past something I’m afraid of–whether it’s that I’ve accomplished something great or just that what I was afraid of is finally in the past and I don’t have to worry any more.

I think by the end of Saturday, I’ll have filled my quota of one-thing-every-day-that-scares-you for the next month or so.

DSC_0314 (1).jpg

When you’re doing a lot of stuff that scares you, sometimes you need stuff that comforts you, right?

By the way, while I was writing this post, I saw Heather tweet about [another] Heather’s post about fear. It’s a good read (per usual.)

I may have gotten over a lot of fears, but I’ll always be afraid of bugs and flying on planes.

4 comments on “Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

  1. Ben

    Great job with your swim – and your fears. But mostly the swim. I thought the first time I hopped in the pool I’d be a star thanks to running. Not so much =)

  2. Cait @ Beyond Bananas

    I am afraid of siwmming at the gym too. In fact, I have been putting it off until the pool at the condo complex opens.. so I can practice and see if I can do it without looking like a fool.. drowning.. utterly embarassing myself. You knw.. usual stuff.

  3. Heather

    great job with the swim! I am petrified of race/swimming. way to conquer your fear. I love that quote! Now if I could only work up the nerve to do some things…


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.