I have a whole long history that I won’t share in detail because I suspect some of you may already know it and maybe have even lived it too. It is about self-limiting behaviour and lack of self-esteem and comparison and jealousy and discontent.
Those things we all have, but don’t like to talk about because in our own little shiny spaces of the internet and the world, we like to maintain our sheen of apparent perfection. We share the highlight reel of our lives and hope it is glossy enough that people won’t see through the dark and dismal places underneath.
I didn’t learn to run until I was nearly 36 because I simply did not believe my body was capable of it. I thought my knees were weak, my ankles a bit crackly, I was not built the right way at all. I held onto those beliefs for so long because it was so much easier than trying and failing. It wasn’t really about my legs at all, it was about my soul.
It was about fear.
I was scared of getting hurt. I was scared that I would look stupid. I was scared that people would see me and wonder what on earth a klutz like me thought she was doing.
But eventually the deep dark got the better of me and I had to do SOMETHING so I took a leap of faith in the privacy of my own lounge on a beat up el cheapo treadmill and I started.
Once I had a bit of confidence I started running outdoors and realised really quickly that actually no one even cared what I was doing. The only people who ever seemed to even notice me were other runners, and there is this whole secret code amongst most runners that means you smile and/or wave when you pass another one because you both know the secret… that running makes you feel like a whole person.
My biggest fear though, the getting hurt one? Well that happened. A few times. And it did hurt, but not as much as not being able to run hurt.
And if I hadn’t gotten hurt last year I never would have ventured into a gym. I never would have discovered the thrill of lifting things that get heavier and heavier, and I never would have found out how weight training can reshape your body in a way running never will. I would never have known that I can be STRONG as well as run a really long way.
The first time I walked into a gym I was so nervous and intimidated; that feeling of inadequacy was overwhelming. But I found pretty quickly that I could lift like no one was watching, because they weren’t. I felt amazed by the capacity of my body to grow and change, and I took another leap of faith and decided to qualify as a personal trainer.
My business, Operation Move is about empowering women through movement. It gives me the opportunity to share my journey and give other women the opportunity to re-discover themselves in the knowledge that Zoey (my partner) and I genuinely understand their challenges because we live with them too.
I hold back on so many things in life because I’m scared of getting hurt or of failing. But if I’d never gotten injured this last time, I would not have been in a position to rediscover that I can do things I once believed impossible, and that regardless of the outcome just facing up to those things is enough to free your soul.
So what are you so scared of? Are you scared to learn to run? Are you scared to join a gym? Are you scared to apply for that job? Are you scared to make the first move? Are you scared to walk away? Are you scared to commit?
And what are you going to do about it?