Fearlessly.

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Fearlessly.

It’s a word right?

Well the little red line telling me I’ve made a spelling error isn’t there so I’m making the executive decision that its a word.

You might have heard the word fearless before, in a Taylor Swift song or on a girls Instagram caption. According to google fearless is defined as

a lack of fear.

I’m going to call googles bluff on this one. I think it’s almost impossible for someone to not have a single fear. I won’t say it’s completely impossible, but its borderline impossible. Everyone is afraid of something.

To me, the word fearless has a different meaning. I think being fearless is living in spite of the things that you fear. Fearless is knowing what you’re afraid of and doing it anyways. If you’re terrified of spiders but you squish that giant spider on the wall, you’re fearless.

It’s a small example but its still showing that someone was fearless.

Think about it.

If someone’s afraid of spiders and they kill it, they just did something they were afraid of.

If you can’t swim but you jump in the deep end because you want nothing more than to know how to swim.

You sign up for a marathon even though you’ve never ran more than 14 miles in your life and you can’t fathom doing another 12.

You’ve gotten your heart broken so many times but you decide to take a chance and text this incredibly cute guy because you can’t stop thinking about him.

All examples of being living in spite of your fears.

You aren’t being completely fearless, you are doing something fearlessly.

You are recognizing that something scares you, that it holds you back from getting what you want out of life. You realize that yes, you have a fear but it’s not stronger than you. That you are so much more than what you’re  afraid of. You take a deep breath and do it, whatever it is, and you do it fearlessly. As if in that moment in time, your fear doesn’t exist.

I write encouraging note cards for my athletes before every race, there first meet is tomorrow and I found myself using one word many times.

Fearless.

That’s how I got to this blog post. I started thinking about that word and what I was telling my kids to do. I was telling them to be fearless.

I was telling them that even though they might be nervous for their first meet to not let that hold them back. To run fast even though this was their first time doing this event, or run as if you’re the fastest person out there even though according to paper you might not be. Fearless.

I have grown to love this word so much and everything associated with it. To be fearless you must have confidence, strength, bravery, and heart. Everything that is important in life, especially when you’re a runner.

I can think of one time in particular when I was fearless. I was sixteen and I was running my second distract track meet for the 3000 against some big competition. I believe I came in ranked 8th or so. It must have been 85 degrees outside, it was the first event of the day and there I was, a little 100 pound scared to death high school sophomore, standing next to sixteen other girls.

I was scared. I felt like there was so much pressure but I ran. I honestly can’t remember much except the fact that I just kept running. I remember having this feeling every time I passed another girl.

There goes another one.

This feels so good.

I have to keep passing people.

Next thing I know I sprint through the finish line seven and a half laps later completely dead. My teammate came over to the fence and asked me if I knew what I just did. Obviously I had no idea I just kept running and passing people. She yelled at me “You took second place!! You’re going to State!” I was so insanely happy and I just remember it clicking.

I was afraid that I was going to fail, but something clicked inside me. Something told me, who cares if you fail, go out there and run as if you can’t fail.

Yes, everything in my life I can relate back to running.

But it’s one of my favorite examples of living fearlessly.

I believe we all have fears, but if we simply go through life letting those fears take control of us we will always be stuck.

We will never find out what more we are capable of if were afraid to try anything.

We will never see our true potential.

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

This quote sums it up perfectly.

Whatever passion you have in life, whatever sets your soul on fire and consumes you, do anything you can to pursue that. Yes, it might be terrifying and might seem impossible but that’s the fear talking. Sometimes we let the fear of the unknown over power our ability to make our dreams come true.

The thing I’m afraid of most in life, is failing.

But I continue to live my life fearlessly in spite of it. I continue to try and grow in pursuit of the things I desire most in life.

If we all just stopped trying once we got scared no one would be able to do anything truly amazing.

So live in spite of those fears.

Live fearlessly.

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