I ran a very fun and challenging race today, TAC Force Challenge. It was a great balance of physically challenging without being un-doable alone (my upper body strength usually leave me in a bad position for some obstacles). I was making pretty good time, having a crap ton of fun, and feeling pretty good about myself. I even tumbled down a hill with a few people (me on the bottom, unfortunately) and was still going strong.
Then I hit the cliff jump and my day got bad. I have a paralyzing fear of heights. This is actually a misnomer. I actually have a paralyzing fear of hitting hard things at a high rate of speed. I froze. I walked to the edge of that cliff 20 times. I watched 30+ people take the plunge. And I couldn’t do it. The obstacle staff was rooting me on. I knew there was no danger. Yet, I froze. Every muscle in my body shook in fear. I added at least 45 minutes to my time before I gave up and took the walk of shame down the hill. It was embarrassing at the time and it is even more embarrassing now when I see my result time. I feel shame – one feeling I am truly not used to feeling (hopefully because I don’t do shameful things, not just because I don’t feel shame ;))
I gave up and I am so disappointed in myself. I am trying to think of a time where I have just flat out gave up without trying and I really can’t.
I let my reptile mind take over my rational mind and I stinking gave up.
It tainted the rest of the race for me. I was just so disheartened….by myself. That’s an unsettling feeling; One I don’t ever want to feel again.
While I feel really bad about the situation (it is about a day later and I still feel like an idiot), I am going to take this as a learning experience. I am filing this feeling away and will pull it out the next time I ever consider quitting, especially without trying.
So, dear reader, here is where I ask for assistance. Do you have ways to train, both mentally and physically, to overcome primal fears? Please comment and let me know how you deal with your irrational fears.
I have a year to get over this and take on that cliff jump next year at TAC Force Challenge (oh, yeah, I will be back).
We all have trials…..conquer them like a warrior scholar.