I’m sitting in a sterile classroom. We’re on break and despite my efforts to resist, I see what is coming. The dull roar of voices continues fading until I’m on my alone drifting through my jungle of thoughts.
Why are my fingers cold? Must have been that coffee I had earlier this morning. That was some strong coffee…..Why can’t I just do it? I ask myself for the 100th time today. I know the answer. I knew the answer before I asked the question. Truth is, I answered the question days ago yet nothing has changed. Deep down I know I must move forward with this idea. The problem is fear. I have not yet been able to overcome the fear of failure. What am I waiting for? What would be a great signal that now is the time. Am I ready? Can I do it? I search my thoughts for any excuse I can use to avoid the task. I isolate a previous memory that may help.
My first triathlon. I ran my first triathlon in October 2009. I was scared. Not scared of the distance but of the unknown. I was scared of going out there and embarrassing myself. I had never done a triathlon. I didn’t know anyone that had done one. I’m trying to remember how I finally came around to doing it. I guess I just committed. I decided and signed up. I paid my money and started training. How did it all turn out? Well, I realized on race day that everyone there was not an expert. Sure, there were a few competitors that were there to win but there were many that were just like me. Folks just glad to be there living life and doing something new. I was awkward. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know what to wear or where to stand but I did it. I did the same thing my Mom taught me to do when I was small. I walked up to someone and said “Hey.” You wouldn’t believe what happened next. He said hello back and we talked about the race. It was great. People just like me were racing. A few minutes later we were off on our own individual missions. Each swimming, biking, and finishing with a short run. It was awesome. It was and still is a memory that I feel so good about.
I found a side of myself that day I would have never known if I hadn’t laid it on the line. The scary thought now is what I would have missed if I had never made the first move.
“Hey man!” I awaken from the daze as my friend Arnold looks down at me with a smile. I’m in the cold classroom with books spread all around and it’s time to start again. “What are you thinking about? He asks. “You were out there!”