Fear can lead you to believe crazy things. Like when Shain is out of town, I pretty much convince myself every night that I am about to be murdered. But I am not talking about that kind of fear, I am talking about the fear of failure, fear of not being good enough…. which can also be crippling.
I used to be afraid of failure. I used to be afraid of disappointing other people, of embarrassing myself. This fear caused me to second guess all of my abilities. In college, no matter how hard I worked in the off season or how well practices went…fear of messing up a play would cripple me in games. It has been something I have struggled with in all areas of my life for as long as I can remember. I feel it before every race I am trying to hit a PR and going into almost every single tough workout. I feel it when trying to prove myself at work.
But guess what happened last year? I failed. I missed my BQ time not once but…twice. I failed at something I worked really hard for and thought for sure I had in the bag. And I failed in front of everybody. It was painful and it was embarrassing. But despite all that, it wasn’t THAT bad. I missed my time? So what? Is my life over? Did all my friends and family dis-own me? Did I lose my job? Did my life fall apart? Of course not. Sometimes we chalk up failure to be this big scary thing in our mind, when really it is a necessity to move forward. Failure is not a bad thing.
It took my body over two months to recover from doing two marathons in a month. Every single workout (even going on the stupid elliptical) just felt plain awful. I thought I may never get back to where I was, because not only was my body hurt but my confidence was also wounded. But I kept plugging away.
Within the last month I have felt my strength and speed gaining momentum. I now have this weird new attitude going into my workouts. Usually, going into a race or a tough lift I think to myself… “Okay, I guess we will see how this goes.” What a terrible way to go into something! Now I go in with confidence. No second thoughts. I am not afraid anymore. I am angry. The kind of angry that gives you confidence to know you are about to destroy a workout. The kind of anger that fuels you. Now that I have failed before, I am not afraid to do it again. If I had to do it a million times over I would, and guess what? I probably will, and that is okay. I will keep failing forward.