Feeling the Fear and Doing It Anyway
Will Smith just bungee jumped from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon. Wow! I love how he celebrated his 50th birthday by facing a big fear. Check out what he said after a past trip when he "drove to the Grand Canyon and I remember having a deeply meaningful experience of how beautiful it was but I was terrified of walking to the edge. All my family walked up to the edge but I stayed back, too scared to take in the beauty. I’ve made it a point in my life to attack anything that I’m scared of.” Isn't that inspiring?
Well I'm happy to say that I had a similar experience that made me glad I faced MY fear. At the weekend camp I went to, Camp GLP, I spent time on a tree top obstacle course. The harness and helmet were on, yet I still felt nervous walking the length of logs, and stepping on planks of a horizontal ladder connected by ropes. The worst of it was the spiderweb made of ropes. I had to use my hands and my legs to move me across the course, while the rope web was wiggling all around. I tried to channel the spirit of all those strong and nimble athletes we see on American Ninja Warrior. That helped a little but still I was hanging on for dear life, momentarily paralyzed by my fear and insecurity that I wouldn't be strong enough to even hold on let alone move across to the other side.
There's a saying that when you feel like you're in hell it's best to keep moving or else you'll get burned. So I mustered my strength and told myself the sooner I get across, the sooner I can relax and then celebrate. I made it! I was trembling, but I made it.
I don't think she knows it but there was a high school aged girl whose fear had been getting the best of her too. I offered encouragement. I cheered her on. And she did the same for me. Afterwards, we both high-fived and felt awesome! It's just another example of how exhilarating it can be to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Sometimes, I think, it's good for us when we push ourselves out of our comfort zones. If you've been missing out on some activity the rest of your family and friends enjoy, maybe you could try doing it once. Going on amusement park rides? Flying in an airplane? Climbing to the top of the Barnegat Lighthouse? If you DO face a fear soon, I hope you'll feel glad you pushed yourself through whatever has been holding you back.