Watching my dog navigate on the Pergo floor is very entertaining and at times pretty humorous. When he walks on the floor he freaks out because he thinks he is going to slip and wipe out.
He starts to freak then his legs stiffen up and he does a sort of 4 way split which freaks him out more sending him into a full on panic thrashing all over the place until he makes it to the safety of a carpet or throw rug. The best part of these episodes is that they are entirely self-induced. If I toss one of his toys across the room he will chase it down at lightning speed. He moves from room to room like acheetah pursuing its prey on the very floor he freaked out on minutes before. His fear of slipping is so real that his body reacts dramatically. Obviously, it’s not apparent to Bruce this fear is entirely in his head. Although the fear is imaginary it is crippling, it stops him dead in his tracks and literally will incapacitate him.
I saw one of his episodes right before I was leaving for a run. I thought to myself, “that dog is about as sharp as a greasy marble.” A couple of miles into my run I started thinking about how many fears I had let creep into my life that were entirely imaginary. While I ran I was constantly focused on not extending my legs because I didn’t want to blow out my knees. A few years ago dislocations (subluxations) were a daily occurrence. The pain was intense and would leave me with severe swelling for weeks. That day I focused on opening up my gait (stride) a little bit. As my stride increased from the shuffle step that I was doing my times became significantly better. It’s been a year and a half and I have yet to get an injury. Like Bruce it was all in my head. I was basing my behavior on something that happened years ago. So these examples are trivial at best and not really worth a post but this concept is so deep and so big that my guess is everyone deals with this and I’m probably not alone in this battle.
Fear – fear used to be my best friend. Fear is a great excuse. Fear, if you let it, can bring you to knees and incapacitate you just like Bruce. Fear can destroy relationships, cause anxiety, stop your progress in life, strip you of your ability to love life, and change your perspective on everything. Here’s the good news though, fear is almost always fake, I know from personal experience it sure doesn’t seem fake. I also know that it can be beaten down and that it doesn’t have to ruin your life. We are always afraid of what MAY happen. How many times are we afraid of what DID happen? One of the scariest moments in my life was going to talk to an adviser at a community college. By the time I had worked up the nerve to actually go in the building I had been there three times. I had dropped out of high school and now I was almost 30. I was petrified at the mere thought of going to college as an old dropout. I ended up earning 7 degrees.My point is certainly not to brag about my education but here’s something to think about. What if I wouldn’t’ have went back the third time? What if I let the fear of the unknown win? My life would be drastically different right now without a doubt.
Fear is a sort of safety blanket we all like to wear but wont admit. Most of the time what we really fear is change. Myself, along with many others, fear change because we don’t want to feel uncomfortable. It always seemed much easier to complain about how things were rather than dealing with the fear of change and actually doing something. There are many, many variations of fears but I really think they all stem back to fear of change. How many times in life have you taken a risk and been rewarded? How many times do we fail to take a risk and never know what the outcome may have been? Fear is not necessarily a bad thing. It probably saved your life this morning by fearing the consequences of blowing that stoplight. But fear should NEVER stop you from making changes that will benefit your life and those around you. Fear is procrastination’s best friend, fear is a fine excuse to stay in the rut that we so strategically carve out for ourselves. I had become a master at building a bubble of fear around myself. I still deal with this constantly. But here are somethings that I have learned and am still learning:
************* You can not change where you are without changing how you think. You can not change how you think until you get the courage to take a risk, even if it’s a small risk. A series of small risks can turn into major change. You can not have an epic life without risking failure and failure is as not bad as we hype it up to be. In fact, failure is how we grow. Every time we fail we get stronger. Failure is NOT the enemy, friends. Fear IS. Another huge misconception I had about fear is that it’s an all or nothing, win or lose game. What if I sign up for an upcoming 5k and can’t run the entire thing? Fear tells you to save the embarrassment and scrap the idea. But what’s the worst thing that could happen? So you get to mile two, run out of gas and walk the last one. Did you really fail, or did you successfully run two miles putting you one step closer to completing a 5k? Fear will not just derail our food and fitness goal. It can destroy every aspect of life from careers and business moves to relationships. So here’s the new deal I make with myself, before I make a decision I temporarily shut my fear factor off even if it is only for a minute. After I make my decision to commit I allow myself to turn the fear back on knowing that my commitment won’t change. If this idea sounds strange to you I understand. The idea of a 400 lb cripple giving himself one year to climb up a 4600ft mountain sounded strange to me. It was also one of the best days in my life. Go do something epic. Make it crazy and just barely attainable. Just for a minute drop the fear and register for a 5k, try to eat plant-based for a week or two, commit to a training schedule, or _________(fill in the blank). Honestly, what’s the worst that can happen?
As Nike says, Just Do It!
If you really have to fear something then be afraid of remaining the same.
Here is a short clip (it’s just over a minute long) of a project I am involved in. I would really appreciate it if you could give it a share so we can spread the word about the film.
Definitely join in the fun over at fatman’s Facebook Page
Also, I post a ton of food on Instagram, you don’t need the app, just click here
“Eat plants, move your body. All ya got to do is a little more than ya did yesterday😉 ”