“Fear defeats more people than any one thing in the world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am 41 years old. Not necessarily old, but not young either. I’m divorced. I’m the parent of two teenagers. I own my own law firm. I’m old – and experienced – enough to know that Emerson’s quote is so, so true. If I had let fear rule, I would not be where I am now. And I know that I am in the place that I’m supposed to be, that I am meant to be. Yes – I’ve made mistakes along the way. But those mistakes have been an important part of my life and have shaped who I am and where I am today. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because the alternative – to not move forward, to not take a risk, to maintain the status quo because it’s easier – is to let fear defeat you and to not fully live. And so when I hear someone say that they choose not to move forward because of fear of complication, it saddens me.
What does this have to do with running? Nothing. It has to do with life junk I’m trying to process.
Though since this is a running blog, I’ll make it be about running too. Because I’ve found you can relate almost any life experience to running and make it significant. And fear – in running – can, and will, defeat you. I’ve found this to be true in about 9 of my 12 marathons. When I started to feel aches/pains, when I got tired and got passed by pacers or other runners, when I became afraid of pushing myself through difficult times – I was defeated. My best, most successful, marathons have been when I have not let fear win – when I have tackled the difficulties and complications that the marathon threw at me with both my head and my heart. That is the way to run successfully.
That is the way to live successfully. Not fully with the head. Nor fully with the heart. With a combination of head and heart. Life is too short to live in fear.