Of Botox, CrossFit … and Fear — Part II

When I was in high school, the T-shirts of choice were those from the “No Fear” line. You might remember these shirts (or still own two or three. Don’t worry; I’ll hardly judge you at all if so). The shirts were all a variation on the theme of “game’s on the line, and the odds are against you, but don’t worry about it.”

I never really liked the shirts. The cocky vibe wasn’t very clever, and if there’s anything I hate, it’s arrogance without at least a little funny. … Well, I also hate John Mayer, the color pink and snakes, but I digress.

Now what bothers me about the shirts is the unrealistic expectations that the messaging conveyed — that bravery can only exist in the absence of fear. Sure, you can find yourself in a situation where your adrenaline level is so high that you can’t feel anything, but that’s not always the case. And just because you’re scared — terrified even — doesn’t mean you can’t do something and do it well.

Fear probably keeps a lot of people from trying CrossFit. They might be afraid of looking stupid or of being too out of shape or of blisters or of just failing all together. For the most part, those are rational fears, because they could happen.

All of this goes back to my point I was meandering toward in Part I. If you want to be a certain way, act a certain way. If you don’t want to be afraid, act like your not. If fake fearlessness doesn’t work, meh. Do it anyway.

Full disclosure: I am pretty much a coward. Most days, fear overcomes me far more than I overcome it. So, it’s not really surprising that when I first heard about CrossFit, the very idea of it scared the bejesus out of me. The only reason I tried it was because I was more afraid that I was missing out on something. If I had given in to the lesser fear, I’d have lost out on something that completely changed what I knew about working out. And, to a greater extent, what I knew about myself.

You might look stupid — to yourself, at least — when you start CrossFit. Start anyway. You might not be able to complete an entire work out the first or third or ninth time you try. Try it anyway. You might be a blister from pull ups. Bandage technology is pretty amazing these days. And you might hate CrossFit all together and quit. But what if the opposite is true?

One Response to “Of Botox, CrossFit … and Fear — Part II”

  1. admin

    Sounding good. All very true points. I was scared sh*tless when I started, or when I start anything for that matter. But that fear is what keeps bringing me back. I’m scared every time I play city league basketball, I’m scared every time I do a mountain bike race and I’m definitely scared every time I go to crossfit and I’ve been going since October. That fear keeps me on my toes and makes me strive to try my absolute best. I’ve learned to love the fear, not fear itself, but the feeling and anticipation of that fear.