“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”
I have a deep relationship with fear. Growing up, I feared anything and everything…oftentimes, I feared myself. On deeper levels, I had a fear of success as well as failure. Talk about damned if I do, damned if I don’t. As many of us discover as we set out to navigate life, we are knocked down…again….then again….then again….sometimes so many times that we forget we can stand. There is no way to prepare oneself for such events…other than to do things which we think we cannot do and committ to always getting up. We get fired…get up. We get diagnosed with an illness…get up. We gain a little or a lot of weight…get up. We get our heart broken…get up. We suffer the loss of loved ones…get up. We lose our way…get up…forget who we are…get up. You must get up. It is not triumph to get up when it is easy…that is practice. It is getting up when we are certain that we cannot, when we believe it to be impossible. Triumph is refusing to be knocked out or defeated, and then rising against all odds.
I am in the fitness industry. It is as much a part of me as my DNA. Most of my life I was fit without perceived effort. I had always run, always played sports, always gone to the gym…I didn’t really know life without it. There came a time when I was knocked down in every area of my life, and fitness seemed like just another demand on me…something else to cause me pain. Then the weight became emotionally and mentally paralyzing. It had never been a part of my reality, I didn’t know where to begin…I knew intellectually how to deal with it, but I didn’t know mentally and emotionally. That struggle revealed a lot to me about fear and the role it plays in our health and fitness directly. We as humans probably fear change the most. Even more than the fear of unknown in terms of change…is the fear of who we have to become, what we have to do to create a positive change in our lives. We would rather life happen to us and deal with the circumstances than to create change for ourselves. However, coming face to face with that dark place within us, that place that not only fears whether we can do the task, but the fear of living up to who we want to be in order to experience what could be…we would rather stay in the dysfunction, shy away from the task. We make it take far longer than it needed to because we avoid it, shy away, make excuses. All we need to do is make peace with our present reality, take the first step forward again and again…and committ to ourselves to get up no matter what tries to knock us down. It empowers us when we step up to the plate. Step up and then get up!
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
H. P. Lovecraft