Abseiling down a cliff face what seemed like 100metres but probably more like 50, the rock fell away and I was dangling, fear overwhelms me, hands sweat and for a split second I am lost. Then I come back, I remember my training and I remember my equipment and, that I have abseiled many times and I am in control. I lower myself to the rock below, unhook and turn to my section; we dive into a wave crashing on the rocks. We swim out to an awaiting zodiac and move on to the next leg of our exercise.
Fear isn't only found dangling at the end of a fast rope, but found lurking in every dark recess of your mind and at the limit of your capability.
Kara Webb's Again Faster shirt says on the back ‘Fear is a Liar’ and fear most certainly is. It is fear that keeps you from testing yourself, from trying and ultimately from opportunity and from success.
Fear uses your failures to keep you from progress, reminding you of shortcomings and trapping you in impossibility. If Kara Webb let fear dictate her steps she would have had every excuse to not have gone back to the Reebok CrossFit Games in 2015, but instead, Kara rose to the challenge and competed with great vigour to achieve a great result.
Fear comes in with its lies and tells you everyone is looking at you, when their probably not, tells you can’t do it, when you probably can, tells you you’re not strong enough, you give up on things, you too fat, too skinny, not big enough, not good enough, your hopeless and always have been. Doubts and demons, anxiety and insecurity fuelling fear that keeps you from success.
Let’s face it, CrossFit gives you a lot of opportunity to feel fear. The word ‘FRAN’ strikes fear in the hearts of the toughest man, ‘30 Muscle-ups for time’ send shivers down the spine of the seasoned athlete, 4x400metre sprints, 150 wall-balls, Grace, Isabel and not to mention The Hero Work-outs. You will never be able to avoid fear; you will never be able to out run it so you must learn to do something with it.
Fear can be your greatest motivator, greatest persuader and your greatest friend. To face your fears takes courage, to set huge goals take audacity and to set out trying to achieve them, despite fear is the makings of success.
We all have fear, it is a necessity for our survival, it is something we are born with and it keeps us alive when we are threatened. But you can be sure that fear is not confined to our survival. Our health and fitness is not exempt from fear and its barrage of boundaries, attacks and lies.
But without even the smallest of fears we would just go about existing, in the ordinary with no sense to change or wanting more. But it is when the fear of failure creeps in, the fear of mediocrity, fear of not ever being good enough, the fear of the ordinary it is then we start to ponder the “What if?” and the challenge stands before you.
So what if you let fear drive you to be stronger, faster, better, leaner, healthier, turning fear into the sharpest weapon in your arsenal, turning fear into your ally. Of course fear lurks in the dark recesses of your mind waiting to pounce and wreak havoc, threaten, lie and cloud judgement, but when you prepare for fear, when you know it’s coming and you know it can be turned to work for you instead of against you, coach you instead of keep you down, then you are equipped for the battle of success.
Any soldier worth his salt is preparing for the attack, planning a counter attack and mapping out the battle ahead. However hard we wish there to be no battle and that the enemy would just surrender, no success worth achieving is done without a fight.
Set goals that send a shudder of fear down your spine, dream dreams that others say are impossible, grind out at the bar each day despite the couch calling you to sit down and the fridge singing sweet tunes of your favourite cheesecake. The fondest memories and greatest stories you will tell about your life will be those of which you achieved success and triumph on the precipice of your greatest fears.