Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fear, the gym and box jumps.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were faced with something that made you so nervous and made your heart beat so fast that it seemed like it was impossible? Something that you'd seen others accomplish, time and time again but for some reason when you even though about attempting it, it just seemed too scary?

Well, that pretty much sums up my relationship with certain moves, machines and exercises at the gym.

I am being completely sincere when I say that the only time I try something new at the gym is when I'm either convinced that it's impossible to look stupid doing it OR when I'm by myself and I'm sure that no one can see me.

I don't know where it came from but for as long as I've been going to the gym I've always gotten really nervous, almost anxious even, at the idea of doing something wrong and a stranger correcting me or laughing at me. The thought of someone coming up to me in a crowded gym and telling me that my form is off, makes me want to work out at 3am when I'm guaranteed to be alone.

I know, it sounds absolutely ridiculous.What I'm getting at with this confession is that there are things that I've been wanting to do but the fear of being corrected or looking silly kept me from even trying them, that is...until the other day.

I went to the gym a few days ago and I don't know what was in the air or in my smoothie that morning but I was in such a euphoric place. I felt happy and at peace and not really too aware of the people around me. I started my leg workout and before I knew it I found myself in front of the space that I always avoided, the box jumps.

Box jumps are a very interesting concept and I won't get into all the details of the benefits and dangers of them but I will tell you that I'm beyond intrigued by them. Box jumps mixed with fear and anxiety are, how can I put this plainly, a sick mind game. Standing in front of this box, that reached about mid way between my knees and my hip, my heart started to beat fast and my hands started to shake.

 "What's going on?" I thought to myself, I've seen people shorter than myself do box jumps more times than I can count and I've never seen them fall, never. I thought to myself, "If they can do it, then so can I," but when I went to jump my feet didn't come off the ground.

I literally swung my arms to jump and instead of lifting off of the ground I was seemingly cemented to the floor by fear. The thought of falling, that someone might laugh at me, or that I might hurt myself ran circles in my head and literally kept both of my feet on the ground.

Fear is crippling. Fear snatches dreams, laughs at goals and does nothing but put limitations on us. Fear and box jumps, I found the other day, don't mix at all. Rather, these two things without question, clash 100% of the time.

I am happy to say that I finally got up the nerve and courage to do one and then another and eventually a whole series of box jumps but not without giving myself a serious talk first. When I jumped the first time I remember standing on the top of the box and feeling a sense of accomplishment but more than that, feeling extremely silly. I couldn't believe that for so long I let fear keep me from even attempting to do something that I now actually really enjoy.

Box jumps won't kill you but your fear might.

I've never met anyone that gave fear the credit for their accomplishments and success. Fear won't take you steps closer to your goals, fear won't heal wounds or rebuild communities, fear won't save lives. Fear kills. Fear destroys. Fear is a stop sign.

When I left the gym that night my mind went on an exploring spree looking at all the areas of my life where fear stopped me from going after something I really wanted. Whether it was doing box jumps, going on a new adventure or talking to someone that I thought  was really cute, I would be lying if I didn't admit that many opportunities have passed me by because I was afraid. Well, not anymore.

What fears are holding you back from accomplishing something great? I challenge you today to have courage and to be brave enough to jump and I promise you that regardless of the outcome you'll be glad that you did.

II Timothy 1:7 - God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

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