As part of my ongoing experiment to spend less time looking at my phone, I noticed a quote on a sign this morning:

Do at least one thing each day that scares you.

This follows the way I look at life. In order to grow, we have to try new things. It doesn’t have to be done immediately, but you should be aware of what scares you.

I mentioned this quote to 3 people and each of their response was different.

1. “You mean like bungee jumping?”
Sure. That sounds pretty scary, but I would still try it!

2. “What if I’m not scared of anything?”
Great! I like the attitude if it’s genuine and you are not living in denial.

3. “That’s too hard.”
Yes, doing something different in general can be hard.

Leadville RunningWhen asked why I run or why I am taking on the Leadville 100 that is considered one of the hardest ultramarathons, I respond:
I want to find my line.

I thought that I would finish the 50 mile race in Leadville and say that it was my breaking point. That didn’t happen. I crossed that finish line and could have gone another 15 miles. Training was pretty slim leading up to that race, so it made me wonder how much farther I could push my line.

We all have fears in life. There are situations and events that make us uncomfortable. That’s okay! It’s part of life and growing as a person. Some people create a list of fears to conquer while others create a Bucket List. Either way, it’s healthy to identify what holds us back because only then can we move forward. The key there is that we have to want, and choose, to move forward. Sometimes a little extra push is needed which means specifically asking for help.

For instance, when I decided to run a 50 mile race, I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn’t know what running through the woods was like, climbing to 12,000 feet four times in a race, what to eat, emergency evacuation plan, or if my legs would fall off. And those are just the things I knew I didn’t know. There was (and still is) a whole list of other things that I didn’t know I didn’t know. I made a running list of these obstacles and started asking people. From strangers on the other side of the world to someone sitting 4 desks down from me at work, I started to find answers. Facebook, Twitter, local running stores … I just started talking it through. When I stepped up to the starting line that day, I had more confidence knowing that I got myself there with my actions. I chose to identify specifically what I needed help with and then make it happen.

When I say I want to find my line, I’m referring to that point that you say you can’t. It may be when someone goes to interview for a job, saying hello to the stranger, speak in front of a crowd, or run a local 5k race. It’s that perceptional line you have created saying you can’t do something. Once you tell yourself you can’t do something, there’s a good chance you will be right. The first step in moving your line is tell yourself that you can. From there, the possibilities are endless.

Comments (2)

  1. Coloradoleah

    Reply

    Good post Alex! So often when we tell ourselves we can’t, we just need to slow down, take some time to do exactly what you did – prioritize, break it down into sections or pieces you can process emotionally, physically, etc. and then take steps forward. I remember getting up on stage in front of over 350 people and having to give a speech and the mere thought really made me cranky but after doing it a few times, I know the stage fright is momentary and once up on stage you find your groove so to speak. Anyway, the lights are so darn bright you can barely see anything or anyone in the crowd! It has been great to follow your blog and Luciana’s and gain inspiration along the way for my own slow progress at running. Thanks for being that inspiration! 

    Leah

  2. LifeisaRun

    Reply

    There’s that whole bucket list thing being said again recently….maybe it’s a sign I really do need to think about the things that scare me and how to try/conquer/what not them! 

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