Sunday, January 4, 2009

Conquering my fears...

The last few weeks were loaded with opportunities for me to conquer some of my childhood fears. Like swimming fearlessly, unperturbed by the pump-like suction goodies (I don't really know what they look like because I've never looked at them directly) in the deep end of a pool. Or braving the dark murky waters of a dam, not knowing how deep it is (for me, often, I just think there is no end to the depth of those massive bodies of water) or what creatures lie in wait at the bottom of the dark mysterious waters. In the past, the only way you might have been able to bribe me to swim in there would be on a show like Fear Factor for a potential half million rand.
The only thing that would make me face my fears head-on? A challenge. A good challenge which seems just within my reach (or is it just out of my reach?).And not a challenge which someone else has challenged me to - something I've always wanted to do and which I've challenged myself to. A triathlon. And since my husband is training for Ironman, he has become my training partner and very patient coach. In fact he started this whole thing when he made up his mind to do the Ironman (and when he's made up his mind, then there's no going back) and so I got roped in to doing the "half Ironman" - and making my dream of doing a triathlon, come true. Along the way there have been many fears which I've had to overcome (a good thing, I know, but humbling and very scary at times) but it's turned out to be an awesome journey.
The lesson? Fears are often just based on something unknown to us and so we fear it because we know so little about it. Taking baby steps and getting to know that unknown "zone" often reveals that our fears are unfounded and out of proportion.
I still respect all sport that I do - I never think that I've "conquered" it - but I always remind myself that I'm doing this for fun and I never take it too seriously! So, Mr Triathlon, I'm looking forward to getting to know you a lot better. Thank you for the lessons you've taught me so far - I'm sure there are many more to learn!

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