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7/12/2014

Facing Fears

The only thing standing between you and your 

goal...is fear. 

Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, of success, is all that keeps us from our full potential. For me, the goal is to complete a triathlon, but I'm terrified of the water. You can put me in a boat or even a floatie on the water, but don't put me down for swimming. Well, who wouldn't be afraid to swim 1-3 miles in open water? Yes, miles in a triathlon, not laps….miles of open, cold, deep waters . I’m anxious just thinking about it. 

Now, I know the majority of this fear is in my mind. Sure, there is the very real fear that I am not conditioned to swim,  hell I can barely hold my head underwater for 5 seconds without gasping for air, but if I ever want to hold the title of 'triathlete', then I'll have to start somewhere. My first real attempt at swimming was last year and let's just say it didn't go so well. I jumped in the water with new goggles and a sexy swim cap only to jump right back out freeing cold and gasping for air. 

1 year later, its summertime again, and the triathlon dream is still in sight. Fear is a liar and I was getting pretty tired of its bullshit. I used my fear as motivation to do what I didn't think I could. I signed up at my local YMCA for adult swim classes to face my fear of swimming. Was I nervous? Of course! I didn’t want to be the oldest one taking a swim lessons with a class of 12 year olds. I talked myself out of it many times, and I am the cheapest of cheap people, I didn't want to pay for something that with a little time, I'm sure I could do on my own or with a friend, but I have learned to invest in myself and sometimes, being cheap only sets you back.

Last week, I started my first swim lesson and I did pretty well for myself considering that showing up was a huge step in itself. There were plenty of people my age who were just as anxious as I was, and the instructors were so friendly. They have taught their fair share of nervous swimmers. 

Once I got my head in the water for more than a second and started breathing from side to side smoothly, I forgot all about my ‘fear’ of swimming and focused on my breath, on staying calm, and being in the moment. After awhile, I wasn’t thinking about my 1st failed attempt. All I could think of was miles of open water at my first triathlon. 

Do Tell...Let me know in the comments below.

What is your fear and what did you do to overcome it?