I do not have a daring heart. I am not naturally a risk-taker, adventure-seeker, or new-thing-trier. My first reaction is usually to say "no" to anything that requires any kind of courage.
If someone wants me to try something scary, they need to introduce the idea slowly, and preferably with a bribe. It took Matt 8 months to get me to try paddling, and the night before my first paddle I literally threw a tantrum, had a panic attack, and cried at the mere thought of getting on a paddleboard.
|My first time ever paddleboarding.|
The next morning, on the board itself, I cried with sheer terror...But the tears were cathartic, in a way. They broke down a barrier. Anyone who reads my blog now knows that we paddle weekly, and I even had my first (accidental) night paddle this last Friday.
|For how much I hate water, it seems to be a major gateway to learning to have courage. Here I am snorkeling in the Bahamas.|
If I can be successfully led into something that terrifies me, I'll usually love it. The person behind most of these new experiences is Matt, and for that I'm forever grateful. He was the one who encouraged me when I first wanted to learn to run, and I think becoming a runner has had everything to do with my willingness to, slowly but eventually, face what scares me.
|My first-ever solo race, and the first time I ran a sub30 5k.|
Looking back, I realize now that I've conquered a lot of my fears. Maybe I'm teaching my heart to be more daring, and with each new conquest and victory comes a little more bravery.
|Matt was the one who prompted me to take my Birthright trip to Israel before I aged out of the program. (Come to think of it, he was also behind getting me to study abroad.) Here I am with my cohort excavating underground ruins.|
Running has something to do with it too, I think. After all, every time I set a foot over the starting line of a race, I'm facing that evil little voice in my head that tells me I'll never be a runner. It was right for a long time, but it hasn't been right in years.
|It may not seem as scary as traveling the world, but choosing to go to grad school was a major leap of faith...And for an introvert like me, teaching takes courage every day.|
Running builds confidence like few other sports can. It forces me to look doubt in the eye and steamroll right over it. It has taught me that my mind is strong and that my body can accomplish great things.
|Ziplining in the rainforests of Panama.|
The greatest thing about conquering fear and teaching my heart to be more daring is that it's keeping me active. When we live in fear - of ourselves, what others will think, of the world at large, whatever - we tend to hide in safe spaces. Safe spaces rarely get us moving.
|Hiking up Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.|
|Climbing rock faces in Leo Carillo, California.|
My initial response may still be "no", but at least now I know that "no" is often a lie. Slowly, "no" is becoming "maybe." I hope in the future, my first response to risks and adventures is a resounding and confident "YES!"
Learning to be daring has taught me that I'm not made of glass, that life can be bigger and more enjoyable than I'd ever thought possible, and that if you fake it 'til you feel it, eventually daring will come.
What's the biggest risk you've ever taken?
Are you a naturally daring person?
What has running given you the confidence to do?
Way to go for stepping out of your comfort zone!!! I'm getting there...but still fight the evil voice in my head that says I can't.ReplyDelete
I feel like I fight it daily, but luckily the more you beat it, the more you know you can beat it in the future!Delete
You do the coolest things! I am so scared of snorkeling and of birds. Basically if it is not on solid ground then a probably won't do it. I love the idea of zip lining but I am terrified to do it and your paddle board pictures always make me want to try it but I think I would freak out if I fell off :). I think you are very daring! I would have never thought you were out of your comfort zone at all !ReplyDelete
Snorkeling was definitely another thing that I threw a small fit before doing. But in the end, I was so glad I went. I'm terrified of all things fishy, so I played it really safe while I was in the water.Delete
I must be a good actress, because pretty much anything "cool" I do is secretly giving me heart palpitations lol!
Wow, this post is so well written! I hope you don't laugh too hard at my grammatical errors when reading Girl Goes Running, LOL.ReplyDelete
Running has helped me become much more confident than the me I used to be. I certainly feel that I have discovered my passion, my niche. I am normally a very shy, quiet, introverted person, who is definitely not a risk taker! But when I am running, I am in my element and feel so at home. If that makes any sense. ;)
Oh thank you! I was an English major, after all ;) I certainly don't judge the blogs I read...if they're THAT bad, I stop reading haha!Delete
I agree 100% that running feels like home.
I could have written this post, but you did it much better than I could have! I am so not a risk taker. I am just fine sitting in my bed being safe. But slowly, I am becoming more of a risk taker. Going back to school was a huge risk for me. It has been one of the best decisions I could have made. Let's see what other risks I can take!ReplyDelete
I love when a huge risk really pays off, like going back to school. I can tell how much it means to you and how much it's helping you grow!Delete
What a great post. Justin (the hubs) is SO daring (obviously) and so he's helping me crawl out of my shell. I have my mother in me though- she NEVER does anything unless it is analyzed from just about every angle! Way to go though! You've done so many exciting things in your life!ReplyDelete
I seriously love that Justin does for you what Matt does for me...sometimes you need your significant other to be the one who prods you into action. Talk about fulfilling needs I can't fulfill on my own!Delete
I am not a naturally daring person but if someone I love and respect is trying to persuade me, if they keep at it long enough, I'll probably give in. Running has given me the confidence to wear the clothes I want to rather than those that have been deemed socially acceptable for "large" women. Spandex? Hell, yeah!!!ReplyDelete
Running has definitely taught me not to judge others based on appearances...you never know when a 200+ pound 70 year old is going to whoop your butt on the race course! I say rock the spandex! I'm glad running has helped you gain confidence in that way!Delete
I am not naturally daring/confident at all. When I first decided I wanted to become a runner I was too scared to go to the gym and use the treadmill because I thought people would see me (duh, of course they saw me, they just didn't care). I used to go late at night when I knew there was a 99% chance my gym would be empty (I use our small condo gym). Then I decided I wanted to run outdoors, but again I psyched myself out of THAT for months because I was afraid people would see me (another duh). It all seems so silly now!ReplyDelete
I definitely think running helps us build confidence because it proves to the voice of doubt in our heads that we can tackle hard things. That type of confidence spills over and allows us to face fears outside of running/sports... which is awesome! :)
Pretty soon you will be blogging about how you went swimming with manatees!
It's so cool how far you've come. Now you run outside...and have a run a HALF!!! WOOT!!Delete
Swimming with manatees is PROBABLY not in my future hahaha
Awesome post! :)ReplyDelete
I love when posts come from the heart!
I love that Matt helps you get out of your shell! I keep thinking I need someone like that. I am not naturally a big risk taker either but I definitely know it's good for me. Really awesome post, girl!!ReplyDelete
You'd think we'd be incompatible, but apparently the extra nudge to take risks was just what I needed. You're a big risk-taker! Look at you, moving and getting a new job etc!! Follow those dreams :)Delete
Absolutely love activities that get me out of my comfort zone. Snorkeling or similar activities would definitely push me out of it!ReplyDelete
Sounds like we share a general uneasiness of water lolDelete
Love that you continually do things to get out of your comfort zone :)ReplyDelete
Thanks girl :)Delete
I really relate to this post. I'm the "careful one" in the family- my middle brother is the one who tried everything and never have it a second thought. It took a lot for me to try new things- such as zip lining. When I was done I thought it was awesome but it was scary at first! I hate heights too so there's that.ReplyDelete
Becoming a runner has definitely given me more confidence. Right now my boyfriend is trying to get me to go skydiving- that's going to take a while lol.
I still need to be urged on sometimes before I'll take risks, but I do take them more willingly now! I'm glad you could relate to this!Delete
I feel like the older I get, the LESS daring I become. But I have started to recognize it, so I am trying to take risks every now and then and just suck it up. It is scary though!ReplyDelete
I think I'm more worried about taking risks as I get older, but I'm more willing to be scared I guess? Or maybe I've just given up on trying to fight Matt when he wants to try new things haha!Delete