Fear is a good thing. It keeps us alive. It keeps us from doing stupid things. My mother was a big advocate of scaring the shit out of your kids to keep them from doing things like walking on the grass. Walking on the grass was a death sentence, Lyme disease would kill you and that would be it. My friends mocked me, but one called me last summer to say, “I laughed at your mom but I just found out I have Lyme disease.” Who’s laughing now?
Growing up, I wasn’t much for sports but the one sport I did participate in was of the equestrian persuasion. You know how today everyone’s talking about how football is dangerous and gives you lasting brain injuries? Well, I was riding back in ye olden days when Christopher Reeve was the person everyone pointed to saying, “see this? This is how dangerous riding is.” Putting your trust and faith in an exceptionally large, skittish animal is pretty crazy to an adult but to a 5 year old who only ever watches My Little Pony, why wouldn’t you trust a horse as much if not more than a human?
All this is to say I got back in the double boat with my partner this morning and although I occasionally yelled out, “OK NO STOP ROWING! JUST STOP ROWING!” each and every time the boat wobbled, I also sang to myself, “let it go, let it go…” in effort to help me calm down. Surprisingly, Melissa kept calling it Ice and saying “how many times have you seen Ice?” until I was finally like, “What the hell are you talking about what is Ice?” “The movie with the song you’re singing!”
[Icy silence] “You mean to tell me you have a 4 year old daughter and you DON’T KNOW THAT IT’S CALLED FROZEN?! I swear, I will fucking flip this boat right now if you say your daughter hasn’t seen it.”
But in the spirit of Frozen (or if you’re my rowing buddy, Ice) I got out there and rowed and we were totally alone on the river and the water was perfect and I feel good about going out tomorrow. I laughed off the flip but honestly, when we were getting ready to go back out I realized I was terrified of getting back in the boat and rowing and flipping again and being trapped under the boat and feeling like I couldn’t get out.
But consider the fear conquered.
Who else has gotten back out there and conquered their fear?