I’ve come up with an idea.
It’s based in that feeling. I don’t know if it’s a feeling only I get, or if other people get it too, so bear with me and I’ll flesh it out for you a bit.
You know that rising jittery feeling you get in your tummy when something you’re scared about happens? Or even looks like it might happen? What about when all paths seem to be leading to you having to compromise on things that you have avoided because they make you anxious? Are you like me, and refuse to do things because you honestly don’t think you can? Or, commit to doing something, then pull out at the last minute because it’s just too scary and confronting?
These are the things that have governed so much of my life. And at 38, I’m calling bullshit on those things. They are valid – this is not about saying you shouldn’t be scared or anxious or any of that. Because those responses are always valid. You’ll get some gurus who tell you that fear is irrational, I call bullshit on that, too. Fear is totally rational. It’s generally based in experience, or research, or gut instinct. Three things you cannot refute.
But what if it didn’t control your life. What if?
Just over 12 months ago, I made a choice to change my life. I suddenly had an ankle that wouldn’t let me down. And I had realised that unless I worked on my health – seriously worked on it, getting my weight under control and increasing my fitness – I was signing up my family to the heartache of another sudden death.
So, I made a choice. And it was a choice. I had two options: keep going how I was, convinced that my body wasn’t able to do anything to help me and to continue to be lost in grief; or just test out what my body could do, and turn that grief for my mum into a motivator.
It was not easy. It. Was. Not. Easy. Not at first. But slowly, it became routine. Get up, go to the gym, walk slowly on a treadmill. Or get up, get my shoes on, and walk slowly around the block. I started where I was, probably at less than where I was, so convinced was I that I couldn’t do anything. But the thing is, I started.
Which leads me to now.
Throughout this experience, the biggest thing that has held me back has been fear. Even now, when I know I can do all sorts of stuff. It’s almost like a habit, to doubt myself and come up with reasons to be scared.
But imagine what we could do if we removed fear from the equation.
I have deemed this November to be NO FEAR NOVEMBER. I’ve challenged myself to turn off that fear reaction. Because ultimately, I still have those doubts about what I can do and how far I can push myself.
#NofearNovember is about doing things anyway, until I find out that I can’t do them.
We’re 9 days in to November, and so far?
I’ve gone to a different class at the gym, with an instructor I don’t know, and been totally fine.
I changed plans and rescheduled stuff, and been totally fine.
On Saturday I’m taking on my first Park Run. And I’ll be totally fine.
The thing is, I’m still scared doing these things. But I guess there comes a time when you have to again, make a choice. Be stopped in your tracks by fear, and regret the fuck out of the things you don’t do.
Do them until you find out that you can’t.
Are you in? Use the hashtag and show me what you’re going to take on. Or, search it on your social media to see what I’m up to.
A HUGE thanks to Josephine, Suzi and Alice who have all gotten behind me with the Variety Fun Run – you can still donate, the link is here!