Fear

27 01 2010

“There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt

While running yesterday I happened on what looked like a little lost dog.  As I was drawing nearer to the cockeyed and droopy eared dog it started to cross the street to meet me.  That’s when it bared it nasty little teeth and transformed into CUJO right in front of me.  That damn dog bit at my feet and held me captive there on the side of the road for two or three minutes. 

I have a dog, I have had dogs my whole life.  I love dogs.   I also have a HUGE fear of dogs while running or biking.  I have come across some mean S.O.B.’s in my years of running and biking – and this one ranked up there at the top.  I kicked at it, I yelled in my most commanding voice – NO and GO.  CUJO just kept at me.  Finally a car pulled up and asked if it was my dog.  I said no, so he kind of (in a safe way I promise) chased the dog away with his car.  Thank you Mr. BMW by the way, I am sure you saved me 10 min. of a show down that I was not positive I could win.

That little incident got me thinking about fear.  I have to admit I have not only my own share of normal fears, but seem to have picked up enough for several other folks as well.  As I was thinking about my fears I came across one of my TRAKKERS teammate’s blogs – GOSONJA.  She was talking about a swim that forced her to go to the “hurt locker”.  Reading this it dawned on me that I don’t often go to my “hurt locker.”  So I asked myself, Kati, why don’t you go to your hurt locker?  (yes, I do talk to myself quite often, I can only blame it on raising two kids – it makes me a little nutty.)  I started to think that maybe, just maybe I don’t go to my hurt locker while training because I have a am afraid of the pain. 

I have trained athletes that have extraordinary pain thresholds and can do amazing things in training. I am not one of them.  I have to admit, I really don’t like pain all that much.  I am often happy to work out (and race too, unfortunately) in that, slightly uncomfortable but definitely not painful place.  I really disliked that revelation about myself.  Fear of pain?  What a wuss.  So today I decided to shorten my run and go to the hurt. 

That’s when I realized it wasn’t about being afraid of the pain.  As I started running those awful little voices started in.  (O-k, I see what you are thinking here, first she’s talking to herself, now voices? – hmmmm)  Here you are going hard and this is as fast as you can go?  You see, what I had done by staying in only a slightly uncomfortable place was left myself room to imagine how fast I could go if I really, really tried.  Mind you, I wouldn’t confirm that by really, really trying because, well – what if I wasn’t that fast?

Wow, that hit like a ton of bricks.  I think some of this stems from being a coach.  I fear being judged on my own athletic accomplishments because frankly I’m not as fast as a lot of the folks that I train.  I’m afraid people won’t want a coach that isn’t as fast as them.  What I also realized when I got back from my run and had an inbox full of coaching emails is that regardless of if I’m as fast as I think I am or even how fast I really am, I am a great coach. 

Since I have not put forth the money to hire myself a coach, I am stuck coaching myself.   So, this leaves me to remind myself that if I want to become as fast as I think I am, it is going to require failing to be that fast sometimes.  But, by trying and suffering and *cringe* even hurting a little, I will become even faster than I imagined I could be. 
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