Faux fears and the next big thing…

Happy chance meeting! Finding friends on the trails. Out for various training runs. (L-R, Brandon, Laura (holding Patch), Drew, Spencer, me, Ana Lu and Carlos)

My favorite question?

‘What’s the next big event/race/running thing you have planned?’

First?  I LOVE talking about running and moving and being healthy. Anyone’s running, anyone’s passion for activity, anyone’s healthy. 🙂

Second?  I totally get a kick out of people associating me with running. Totally.  It will never get old.  For the longest time I denied it; I knew runner-runners.  Like, you know — the fast, sleek, athletic people?; it was not me. And that’s ALL I thought running was.  Now?  I realize the world of running accommodates anyone. Anyone.  If you put on shoes with the intent of going for a run; you’re a runner. I LOVE being able to identify with this group of diverse, brave, determined people.

I was at a gala this past week and talking with people I only see periodically.  We were having great conversations about life!  They all eventually asked me what’s up next event-wise.

‘So what crazy run do you have next?’

I answered the questions about a dozen times.

And that repetition of my own answer got me thinking…

The running and training that I do is not entirely for events.


If I strip it down and examine the whole process and my motivation/desire…  It’s not really for the events at all.  I wanted to tell them about some of the other great things I’m doing that aren’t event related…  Like trying to learn to swim.  Finding new trails. Finally figuring out fueling.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love events.  I’m a people person. OF course I like the event portion of this whole process. The event is really the celebration, the party!  The culmination of months of training and running and miles and learning should be celebrated.

And while I am not doing races to be competitive, I care DEEPLY and totally about doing my best and being as prepared as possible.  I’m doing events and races to meet people, have fun, see new terrain, challenge myself to a new adventure and test my limits/strength.

So then why exactly do I train and spend hours each week running/biking and working out if it isn’t to go to races?

I’ll let you peek at my current goals…

  • To be fit. (Fit feels so, so DAMN good.)
  • Enjoy ALL of the life that I have left to live.
  • Be ready for the next grand adventure.
  • I don’t want my fitness (or lack of…) to stand in the way of life.  At all.  It did.  For too many YEARS.  No more.

That list above, that is why I run and train and work on getting fit.

It really isn’t as simple or straightforward as just being ready for the ‘next big thing’.

Unless that next big thing is LIFE. 🙂

I’ve been picking harder and more robust challenges for the last two years.  I mean, I have been working hard and staying focused and building up to them.  They are challenges that terrify and fascinate me all in the same breath.  50K, learning to swim, 50 miles and beyond…

Part of the reason I keep picking bigger and bigger things to train for is pretty simple and obvious if you think about it…

I’m afraid.

I made a deal with myself almost 4 years ago that I would force myself to give anything that I thought I was afraid of (that wasn’t illegal, immoral or just super-dangerous…) a shot.

I wanted to see if I could teach myself to get over the fear. Feel the fear and do it anyway.  Trite saying; but at the same time a very true operating statement.  Could I face fears and go around/over them?

I wanted to form reality-based opinions of my own, not continue to be bound by the perceived boundaries of the past-me.

The answers to this point have been yes… I can (mostly) get over/around/beat-down the fear and get it done.  It may not be pretty, or well-done or even particularly smart.  In a few cases it left scars. 🙂

AND I am having a HELL of a lot of fun doing it!!!

I need to remind myself of all of that.

I need to remember just how much work I have done to get to this point, how many fears I’ve conquered…

A good friend recently called me out on my ‘fearful’ attitude.  I thought I had pretty much pushed fear to the edges of my life – and I thought it would stay there.  Turns out that fear is tenacious and strong-willed. (Sounds like me. 🙂 )  Trepidation, lack of confidence, self doubt, negativity; call it what you want — seems to be trying to creep back in…

The tell tale warning sign?  (this took me about two weeks to key-in on and discern…) I realized that when I am nervous about something, afraid or embarrassed that I might fail — I start a conversation with one simple word;


I’ve been catching myself using that sentence starter quite a few times these past few months.

‘But’ negates the entire comment.  It tells the listener that they don’t really have to believe anything you’re saying… Because YOU don’t really believe it yourself…

I have to kick the ‘but’s’ back out of my thinking and language.

Tackling fears is NOT linear or simple.  Nor is it ever a completed task. And that’s the lesson I’m working on learning.

There is the legit fear that we have to heed to stay alive and safe.

This isn’t that fear.

This is the fear that we allow to creep in at the edges, create boundaries, limit our work/dreams/goals and cripple our thinking.

I’m calling it my ‘faux fear’.

I am going to keep working, one step at a time, to show my faux fears the door…

What fears are you working to conquer?

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