Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When you push fear aside...

The sky is the limit.

Well, not entirely. But, taking a chance and saying no to the fear can be very liberating.

I can be kind of chicken with some physical conquests. I duck anytime a ball flies near me. But I am learning to push myself to try new things and to be less afraid. At the gym, there are a lot of machines that I don't use, because well, they look intimidating and I don't think I have the strength to complete the exercise. But I've slowly started to realize that the strength I've built up from running and doing some weights and cross training can actually translate into the ability to do other things.
Example: In February, I looked at the rowing machine and thought, wow, that must be good to do. And then, I sat down, pulled, and started rowing away. From then on, I rowed 3 times a week in preparation for Boston. I realized that yes, I was strong enough to do it, and once I got started, I loved it - and I think it really helped get me stronger.

But that doesn't mean I always grab machines by the horns and just go. But lately, I have been eyeing these two machines at the gym:

Especially with the one on the right, I have always been afraid I would fall down or do it wrong or lack the the ability to do it right. But I have been doing so much strength training, it was worth giving it a shot. Do you ever eyeball people at the gym and size them up? I do sometimes, and I watched some of them do those machines, and I thought, surely if they can do it, so I can it.
And finally I pushed aside the fear and went for it. The sit up bench was hard, but I actually had fun with the lower back machine. It may sound corny, but it felt so liberating to actually do it. That machine has looked impossible for years, and there I was, not falling down, but actually doing it.
I'm not saying it was a life changing moment. But, I felt free, I felt less scared to try something new. When you take the big step, look over the gaping hole, and jump, that feels amazing.

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