6:22 PM

Fear

Fear is an odd thing. When life begins, you are a small child without knowledge of danger. You are able to run headlong into life without fear because of this blissful ignorance. As we grow older, we become more hesitant to take risks because we have learned of the danger. Is fear really natural as we are not born with it?

Over the years, I have faced my biggest fear. Oddly enough, I did not discover my fear on my own. It was mother who most accurately detailed it many years ago. Looking back, I realize that she was right (as mothers most often are). It amazes me that, even at such a young age, I behaved in a similar fashion.

Life changes when you experience your biggest fear. It is in these moments that you have the option of giving into despair or forcing yourself to grow stronger. I do not know if I was benefited by not experiencing my fear more often when I was younger. Sure, I faced it; however, I did not expect to experience it.

My biggest fear - failure. It is a dirty word; one that can shake me to my core. As I've advanced in life and competition has become more fierce, I've experienced failure. It is never pleasant. Never rewarding. Never comforting. And certainly never satisfying. Yet, it is always motivating.

As Longhorn approaches, I become fearful. I question my schedule, training, and (sometimes) the lack thereof. I cannot make excuses for the mistakes that I've made in training. I can only learn from them for the next race.

My goal is merely to finish the race. I now question this goal. Is finishing a worthy ambition? If I set my standards higher, would I have found a way to meet them? Is there any benefit in present when a real decision must be made?

Has my fear of failure overtaken me? Am I too afraid to raise the bar and see what may come? I now yearn for the blissful ignorance of childhood.

4 comments:

greyhound said...

Finishing is a fine goal for a first half. Enjoy the day. It is later that this question becomes more important, and it never goes away.

I'm constantly battling this same question: wondering whether I am being "realistic" about my abilities, or selling myself short and not maximizing my potential out of fear of not finishing. I'm not sure one ever knows the answer for sure.

KCWoodhead said...

One and only goal...to finish with a smile. Sounds so simple, but says so much. What is behind the smile is the deeper meaning of your goal, and only you can decide what is going to bring about that smile.

Jeff & Heather said...

Hey Cass, I'm so right there with you. But I'm really afraid I won't even be able to finish. I guess this Saturday will tell us alot.

smertz said...

To finish a race, that you've not attempted before, is most definitely a huge accomplishment! To finish it will be very rewarding in itself, do not fear that you set your goals too low in this instance.

I have complete faith that you will reach your goal, and learn from it that you can set a higher goal next time around (finish a full? (= )

Keep up the great work! And do not fear failure! (=