It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
– Marianne Williamson
I sometimes forget how beautiful Hawaii is until I’m up before the sun and find myself running into the sunrise. Two Sundays ago, I ran the second of three races in the Tropical Triple Crown – the Coconut Chase 8K. 5 miles in a grass skirt and coconut bra (worn OVER my running gear, of course. There is no coconut in the world, honey…) But I digress. I completed it in great (for me) time and after crossing the finish line, a woman came up to me and thanked me for motivating her to finish strong (I was sprinting like a mad woman for the last couple of miles and when she caught up with me at one point she asked me where the finish line was and I said “I have no idea!” and took off on another sprint). Best of all, I was in wonderful company at this race – my running sister Kelsey shattered yet another PR that day. It could not have been a better morning.
Fast forward to today. I’m staring at my Runkeeper stats and shaking my head. It has been two weeks since I’ve gone for a run. TWO. WEEKS. My body is feeling it more than ever and mentally I’m sore from all the games I’ve been playing with myself, making excuse after excuse for not giving myself permission to start. I’ve put on my running clothes and shoes every day but managed not to make it to Stroller Warriors due to kid illnesses and kid activities. I completed just two of the four scheduled strength training sessions I was supposed to have in the last two weeks due to business conflicts and my trainer needing to take a day to film Hawaii Five O (I’m so not kidding). I feel like I have let life events overwhelm me and allowed “stuff” to get in the way, and I feel miserable.
There is, of course, this other thing that happened the day after I ran the Coconut Chase. My husband left for deployment. So when I say I’ve let “stuff” get in the way, I really think I mean “the emptiness”, “the loneliness”, “the overwhelming sadness”. You know, “stuff”. Looking even more closely at my Runkeeper, I notice that just about every time I’ve had a long break from running, it’s been while he’s been at sea. And that was cool because he always came back just in time for me to stop the belly from turning back to jelly and get me back on track. This time, however, I’ll be on my own for SEVERAL months. Months where I will likely go weeks without his “go get ’em, Tiger” emails and reassurance that all the busted toenails, early mornings and pushing the kids for miles in Strollzilla are worth it. I kick myself on the inside for letting his presence be such an important factor in my staying on track and realize I can’t survive like this, let alone get RIPPED!
This whole “can’t get out the door”, “too tired to get up and do it”, “I miss my husband” struggle, by the way, is something I anticipated long before he left, so I planned ahead. I got a great trainer to educate me on how to incorporate strength work into my routine. I set up a home gym so that I could rip out the “can’t get to the gym” excuse. I mapped appropriate short run routes in my neighborhood so I could get a quick 20 minutes in during nap time. I did everything I could to give myself every reason TO workout against the odds. Still, two weeks, no runs.
Then it dawns on me that I have set myself up for success, but that success is what I FEAR most of all. I fear becoming successful to a point where I’m no longer relatable, lovable, and still fundamentally “me”. I don’t know what it’s like to be “fit Jamie”. I’m still getting over the fact that I’ve transformed enough to be “single digit dress size Jamie”. Who will I become if I use all of these tools (time, trainer, equipment) that I’m so very fortunate to have at my disposal? I just don’t know, but knowing that I’m fearing success more than anything else is the important piece of information here.
So how do we overcome fear? We face it, deconstruct it, we try to understand it, and there are many great resources I’ve found to help with that. I’ve included a few below. My question for you reading today is, are your fears of failure really fear of success? What could you do today if that fear was stripped away? More on my journey soon, but I’d love to hear from YOU!
Overcome the Fear of Success: 6 Ways to Start Thriving
The Fear of Success: Psychology Today (2002)
How to Overcome Fear of Success (the DaVinci Dilemma – VERY interesting reading here)