I’m going to start by confessing something… I am a big scaredy cat.
I’m afraid of heights, I’m afraid of high speed, I’m afraid of things that aren’t stable and might make me fall.
I’m scared of things that hurt, yes, that’s it, I think that’s the right way to say it.
With that being said, lately I’ve pushed myself a little to face those fears…
First thing I tried, rollercoasters. I would not even consider getting on one when I was little. Now, there are some I can do, so decided to step it up a bit and did “Rock It” Orlando. Only way I did this one was because my sisters were making fun of me and my brother promised to hold my hand the entire time. I hated this one, I had a migraine the whole day, and the feeling I had during it I never want it again… I was not able to breathe the entire ride. Never again (this one, at least, and any big scary ones), but at least I can say I tried, and amble to do some and even enjoy them.
Second thing, skydiving! I know, I know… How could someone like me do something like that?!? I just didn’t think about it. Got to the place, closed my eyes, gave them my credit card, and off we went. They didn’t give me a chance to change my mind and I loved it, it’s such an indescribable feeling. So, if you ask me if I’d do it again I would say, maybe, I’m still scared of heights but that feeling is incredible, you feel so free, it’s something I would recommend everyone to do. Also, my sisters did this together, I knew I would regret not sharing this experience with them.
Third, riding on a motorcycle. In my head these are not stable (they are missing two tires!) and they go fast but, after the first time, I wanted to do it again and again. The wind blowing, the way you see things (like first row to a live event), how you can avoid (some) traffic, and the feeling you get holding on to that person, it’s like you’re in your own world. Would I do it again? Absolutely but, only with someone I trust.
The last thing I did, Ziplining. On my recent trip to PR, I decided I wanted to do something more than the usual, sightseeing, visiting family, restaurants… I wanted to push myself once again. I wanted to show myself I could face my fears and live. I told my sister, who was with me, she called her friend and we all went to do it.
Yes, I was scared. My sister was even joking saying “let’s see if she goes through with it”, and after each line, she would look at me, like trying to make sure I was OK, and doing the next. I did! All 8 of them, and after each one, my smile got bigger and bigger not only because I did them but because it was so much fun. There was a point, towards the last line, we had to go up an unstable, steep, path. I stopped for a second, my sister sensed my hesitation and held my hand. I regained my determination and went for it. That last line was the hardest, wind pushing against us, longer than the rest, but we finished them, and I couldn’t be prouder or happier that I can say I’ve done Ziplining, and in my own PR.
I’m sure there are other things I’ll find to push myself, to keep facing my fears. These, unfortunately, don’t go away just because we face them once or twice but, they do become easier to deal with. The key is you! Allow yourself to feel that fear but, don’t let it control you. There’s one more important thing, which I hope you’ve noticed in each of my experiences, the people by your side. Having someone you trust reassuring you, holding your hand, and cheering you on, be it in person or otherwise, it’s a great thing to have to succeed. I’ve been lucky to have all these people in my life to accept me as I am. To make fun of me when I was scared and even more when I decided to try things. They helped me laugh through the nervousness and helped me face my fears. When I haven’t been able to do so, they’ve been there to say “it’s OK, we’ll try again” and, when I’ve succeeded, they’ve been there to smile and “celebrate” with me.
With our fears we might feel alone, like we’re the only ones feeling them but, we’re not. Maybe not the same fear but we all feel it. We can all relate so, rely on each other, and help each other. Take that leap, stare that fear in the face and defy it, again and again until you (and only you) feel like you succeeded, and have fun with it.