Wednesday, May 29, 2013

No Fear

We all have them, no matter how big, how strong, how rich, no one is immune, we all have fears.  Our fears are as individual as we are, but there are also fears that we all share.  The difference between each of us is not in whether or not we have fears but how we react to them and how much we let them control us.  If we are not careful those fears can push us in directions we really don't want to go.

In this country most of us are afraid we will lose our jobs and then everything we have worked for, all of our lives.  That is a very real fear and if we dwell on it to much it could drive us to eat comfort food.  There are lots of real and serious fears like that, we worry that if gas and food keeps going up how will we make it.  But really those are fears that hard working people have had forever.

As adult athletes we have our own unique fears.  A big fear is nutrition. Are we missing something?  When I was a kid all my movie heroes smoked cigarettes. I couldn't wait till I was sixteen, so I could smoke.  The advertising of the day was telling young fellows, like me, that their brand of cigarettes, would make me like those tough guys.  Now of course we all know that smoking is bad, and we don't even want to be in the same room as someone who lights up.  Now we have the intense advertising for products that promise to give us what we desire.  Faster times, defined abdominal muscles, the endurance of a migrating bird, there are lots of desires and a lot of products that will make them happen, if you will just buy them.  How often have you wondered if you are wearing the right shoes?  We fear that we haven't bought the gear that we really needed.

We worry about a lot of things that are unrealistic as well.  I have a fear of loose dogs, even though I have dogs and like dogs, I still fear unknown dogs.  I have never been attacked but I know people who have been and that makes this a very realistic fear for me.  I know a runner that will not run along a road because he is afraid of road kill, he is afraid that he will be bitten by an animal that isn't really dead.  Sounds silly to most of us but to him it's a very real concern.

There are also a lot of people that are sure that they have the beginnings of a terrible disease or physical condition because something they feel matches a symptom of that condition.  Us athletes are ripe for that because we generally always have something that is acting up.  Joint pain, chest pain when you were sprinting, side's always something.  I used to worry about my heart since I'm a senior athlete until my doctor told me that my training is like giving myself a stress test a couple of times a week, if I had heart disease I wouldn't be doing that.

The best way to handle the stress of those countless fears is to be pro active about them.  If you don't feel good make an appointment with your doctor for a physical.  If you are worried about the economy then cut back and start putting away a little aside each payday, that's a good idea anyway, saving is always a positive step.  If your hurting all the time then you are either working out to hard or not getting enough recovery rest, that physical exam will let you know if you have a medical condition, but you probably don't.  That nutrition thing is something I was stressing about so I decided to clean up my diet and now I don't have to worry about whether or not I'm eating right.

We are always going to have fears but those fears don't need to control us.  Be the Boss of your own life and keep those fears in perspective.  We are athletes of life, not just sport, if we don't control those fears then we are compromising our one chance at that life.

Thanks for reading


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