The trees swirled in the edges of my vision as my speed picked up going down the hill. My breath grew shallow as my body moved against the weight of gravity and the incline of the snow covered hill. My fear overtook my reason, and my legs came out from under me as my body tumbled into a crash landing with Fern yelling in concern. Once my body slowed to a stop, I pushed against the ground with my hands trying to gain some bearing. My wrists ached, and my shallow breathing turned to frustrated tears of fear.
Fear is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat”. To me, downhill skiing was something I feared. Not necessarily because of the speed, but because of falling. My bones barely stay in place when I just walk around, let alone taking the impact of a thousand falls at fast speeds. But I learned something about myself. The definition of my own fear.
The majority of doctors I have visited has made the comment that the way I live, is the reason I am in pain. From the stress of college to the way I work. I hold the stress of lifetimes in my shoulders and neck, not always consciously realizing it. What started as a bothersome feeling, turned into a chronic condition. One physical therapist said if I did not have such a strong mind, I might have less problems. My body reacts with the thoughts in my mind. When I think intensely, my body reacts intensely.
When my body was bracing gravity with each fall against the packed snow, my mind was already preparing for it. Each fall took its toll on my mind, and my body. As toddlers raced paced me on skis with no fear, I wondered at what point my fear overtook my sense of adventure. I can handle new streets of a foreign country than I can handle skis on my feet that push my speed outside of my comfort zone.
So what am I afraid of? Pain. Those who suffer from chronic pain, experience pain differently. More sharply. One fall is not just a fall, it is a slam against the body with a thousands sharp pains coming from every direction. Each time I fell, my body cried out. But I got back up and did it again. Once you’re on top of the mountain, there is only one way to go, to face your fear down the hill. To stare fear in the face, with tear streaked cheeks, and prove that you are better than the definition of your own fear.
My fear is in pain. The constant of pain. It is a part of my daily living. Making calculated decisions about what will make my body hurt, and whether it is worth it. Skiing certainly was an experience, and Fern was patient and gracious as ever in trying to teach me. On top of the mountain after a couple of falls, Fern said to me, “I can’t make you believe in yourself, only you can do that”. Fear constricts belief. My fear overtook my confidence in myself, and in turn kept me from achieving.
Not only in skiing, but in my professional career, my medical problems, and desires for the future, it is fear that keeps me from reaching my goals. Overcoming that fear is a mental game. It is the definition of fear that keeps many people from reaching their dreams. Fear is natural, but it should not define you. When life knocks you down, get back up. Get back up. And see how much you can achieve in this precious lifetime.
Love and Light,
p.s. Want to help out in overcoming a fear of mine? Consider donating to my visa fund for Fern and I to continue our life together. Follow the link below: