Monday, July 28, 2014

Just Try!

This morning I set out for an easy (slow) 3 mile run. You probably know by now that I'm one of those strange people the actually "likes" running. It clears my head and starts my day off right. What you probably don't know is that even a 3 mile run is still hard for me. I can't seem to make that 3 miles without stopping to walk. Maybe it's psychological, maybe it's a physical barrier or maybe my body is just too conditioned to NOT run 3 miles. Whatever the case, it's been a very long time since I've been able to RUN that distance without walking some - even running at a snail's pace.

Today, I ran the WHOLE three miles! Then I ran another mile! Then I turned the corner and realized I either had to backtrack to get home (doing the math that would be an 8 mile run) or I needed to run up a fairly daunting set of hills to get home. If you live in the area, you know that the hill from Nall up 119th to Mission Rd. and then Mission Rd to 127th is a bugger!

I tried to run those hills on Saturday and stopped halfway through thinking I was going to need to call Steve to come get me. They. Kicked. My. Butt.

Well, today I  had to make it up those hills since Steve was at work. Since I didn't want to run 8 miles today, up the hills I went. I GAVE IT MY ALL AND I RAN THE WHOLE WAY!! It wasn't graceful. It wasn't pretty. At one point I flashed my sports bra at a car coming towards me since I had to wipe the sweat out of my eyes with my shirt. But I ran up those hills! I mastered every single one of them! As a bonus, I ended up running 6 miles!

I tried this same thing on Saturday... and failed. Yesterday, after having conquered my fear of water sports last Monday and getting up on the kneeboard for the first time, I tried to turn a 360 on the board ... and failed.

But I TRIED! Today I tried and succeeded. Yesterday I tried and failed. Tomorrow I might fail. Or, or might succeed. But I'm going to TRY something. I'm going to set a goal and TRY.

Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try" ~ Jack Canfield

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Conquering a Fear - I Did It!

On Monday I conquered a fear. Just writing that sentence makes it sound so simple. But it was not simple. This fear was bigger than me and has been for many years. Let me explain.

When I was a kid, we had a swimming pool in our backyard. A gloriously huge, crystal blue, open 24/7, right in our backyard pool. I swam and swam and swam in that thing ... as long as there was someone else with me. If I was alone, I turned into a great big chicken! I had a ridiculous irrational fear that if I was in the deep end alone a shark would mysteriously come up through the drain and eat me. Not only that, but I thought I would drown.

There, I put it out there. My fear is out there for the whole world to read. As much as I loved the pool, the ocean and even swimming in the lake, I quaked on the inside every time I faced a body of water alone. Mix this fear in with a lot of self-doubt and you have the makings of an "I can't do it" attitude.

On Monday, I flipped the script. I literally turned my "I can't" into and "I can". We went boating with some great friends. The weather was great. The company was great. The kids were great. Steve took the day off of work and we just had some good family fun. Everyone else on the boat was reveling in all the water sports. I, however, don't do water sports but I WANTED to do watersports. See above paragraph for that explanation. ;-)

My self-doubt was in full force. I'm not strong enough. I'm not coordinated enough. I'm not brave enough. I've never done it before. A lake shark is going to hunt me down. I'm going to get a brain eating amoeba (those are REAL!). I'll pull my back out. I'll break my neck and be paralyzed. I'll drown. Get the point???

No one even asked if I was going to knee board or ski. I've never done it before so why would I do it now? My kids didn't push and prod. My husband didn't encourage me. They weren't being mean. They just know mommy doesn't do those kinds of things. Mommy is safe. Mommy is not a risk taker. Mommy doesn't "do" water sports. In fact, mommy barely does the swimming pool.

But all day long I sat there watching everyone else having a great time. I was having fun watching them but I started thinking, why can't I at least try? What's the worst that could happen? Well, the worst that could happen is that I could die.  The rope could get caught up in the motor and pull me in a chop me to pieces. However, I decided the likelihood of that happening was pretty slim. Probably the worst that could happen would be that I would fail. I wouldn't be able to get up on the board because I'm not strong enough. That's the worst that could happen. And that would be embarrassing!

But, I was with friends. Really good friends. Friends that I knew wouldn't care if I failed. As far as my family goes, I knew they would just be proud of me for trying. It's something that I knew they would never in a million years expect me to try so they wouldn't care if failed or not. I knew they would be cheering me on no matter how pathetic I looked.

So, I announced to everyone that was I going to try knee boarding. By "everyone" I mean the three other adults and 4 kids that were too busy scarfing down licorice to care about what I just said.

The next thing I knew I was in the water (BY MYSELF WITH ALL THE SHARKS AND BRAIN EATING AMOEBAS) trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get my nearly 5'10" body up on that little board going I don't even know how fast. My kids made it look easy. My husband, friends and their kids made it look easy. It's NOT easy. (Colin making it look easy.)

The first go-around it was all I could do to hang onto the board. My legs were dangling in the water like two dead fish and I just knew that shark was coming for me. I really felt defeated and told everyone in the boat that I didn't think I could do it. And I REALLY didn't think I could. My arms and hands hurt but I decided to give it one more try.

The boat started going, the board started going and I started to pull myself up. I got stuck halfway up because I couldn't figure out how to get my knees underneath me. That's sort of an important part of knee boarding. So I held on and kept calm. I tried with all my might and after what seemed like 2 hours, I got myself on the board.

Ok, great. So I was on the board and strapped in. I grabbed the rope and nearly went flying from the force. I'm not sure why I didn't realize that grabbing the rope meant that you had to engage your core strength to keep your balance, but it shocked me. Best tricep and core workout ever, by the way.

I was on. I was up. I was strapped in. I had control of the rope. Hearing everyone cheering me on from the boat, I was CERTAIN I looked like this:

I felt amazing! I had conquered a fear! Lots of the them actually! I was in the water with sharks and brain eating amoebas all by myself. I was strong enough, talented enough and brave enough to do this! The best part about the whole thing... knowing that I had just shown my kids a different side of me. An adventurous side. A risk taker side. A fun side. A fear conquering side. I always tell my kids to just "try". Try something new. Try a new food. Try out for a sport. Try a harder level of book. Try a new gymnastics move. Try the faster batting cages. Just TRY!
But I never tried. My cop out was "Mommy doesn't do those things." Yet I expected my kids to try. This time, I TRIED! I failed the first time but I went back out and TRIED! And you know what, I didn't DIE!
It's amazing how a small thing to everyone else can mean so much to someone else. My family goes out into the water like it's nothing. They ski, knee board, tube ... whatever. For me, this was a HUGE moment. It's one I won't EVER forget! It's etched in my mind forever because it's the day I really showed my family and myself  that I have courage, skill and heart.
I've told my husband that by this time next year, I want to learn how to surf. That means I have to go into the ocean where there REALLY are sharks. I REALLY could drown. Not to mention the jelly fish, sting rays, killer whales....oh my gosh what did I just get myself into?!?! But on the upside, I get a guaranteed ticket to the beach, so who cares if I die, right?!
Today I encourage you to write down your fears. Write down what scares you. What you don't have the courage, the mental, physical or emotional strength to do. And then, DIVE IN! Don't think! Just do! Before you get too scared! I did and YOU CAN TOO!
By the way, after reviewing the photos that my friend took of me out there, I guess I looked more like this. ;-) But that's ok, I CONQUERED MY FEAR!