Something you learn very quickly when you start pushing your limits, is the meaning of fear. It’s pervasive in our culture, especially with the uptake in violence and natural disasters. Fear is normal. I used to be incredibly afraid of fear, but not in the “the only thing to fear is fear itself” way, more of the “I hate the unknown and want to control everything” way.
During one episode of last season’s Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi had one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard about fear.
“I know you’re afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn’t anyone ever tell you fear is a super power. Fear can make you faster, and cleverer, and stronger. If you’re very wise and very strong, fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind.”
I love this quote so much, I have it hanging up in my cube at work. It’s a powerful reminder to me that when something happens that is out of my control, it’s OK. I don’t need to get angry at the situation, or shy away from it. I can take that fear and manifest it into my own personal superpower.
For me, there’s definitely an element of fear when it comes to running. For years I was very injury prone, something I had dealt with since high school. So in May when I injured my foot, I had a whole new flood of anxiety about if I could ever run again without pain – and if I would be able to run my marathon like I had planned.
Now, fully recovered and a half marathon in the record books, I take that fear that still lives within me, and use it to fuel my runs. I might have to stop running tomorrow, but instead of letting that fear stress me out, I use to take each stride with strength. I will never know what the future holds, but that doesn’t mean it has to hold me back.