Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I have been scared so many times in my life I couldn't begin to try to count them. especially in these past few years, as I have stepped beyond my own comfort zone time after time just in trying to navigate what the world has thrown my way.

I sometimes try to imagine a life with no fear.
this could go two different ways:
  • it could be a quiet, tame life, one in which adventures aren't undertaken, nothing but the known is embraced. a life full of research and predictions and caution and "no, thank you's." tempting, at times, to think of living like this.
  • or it could be a life full of newness and adventure and willingness, all accompanied by confidence. by a state of certainty, sureness; really, a state of faith. a life full of "yes." wow.
I walk the continuum between these two, thus I often am confronted with fear. I frequently say yes, but my yes is an invitation to my frustratingly persistent egoic self to say, oh no, you can't do that.

today (a most gorgeous day, by the way, in which everyone who owns a bike did their best to hop on it and pedal away somewhere) I was pedaling up a hill, pulling up on my pedals via my cleats, feeling the extra power that system allows.
I thought back to my first road bike purchase, three and a half years ago, and how scared I was to convert from regular old clodhopper pedals to the "clipless" system where your shoes are clipped into the pedal (don't let me get into a discussion of the clipless/clip/cleat jargon mess).
it was scary.
it was something new to learn, something that involved risk, possible embarrassment, and perhaps, pain. and sure enough, I've experienced both embarrassment and pain due to my cycling footwear, the most recent just about three weeks ago when I fell over at a stop sign because I couldn't seem to unclip my left shoe from its pedal.
I don't fear my cleats anymore---I've accepted the risk and possible negative outcomes and decided the reward is worth it---but I certainly did at the beginning.
I hurdled over that fear anyway.
just like I swallowed my fear in first signing up for power camp, and for walking into class that first day all those years ago. I face fear frequently, just making my way through this world as a homeowner, business owner, parent, and fallible human being.
I'd like to someday be fearless, to live as my second scenario above.
but for now I just keep piling up my fear-hurdling experiences behind me, and every once in a while turn around to view their immensity. there are hundreds of them, all puffy with pride and dense with growth.

forward-ho: it's really the only way to move.

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