When I think about what I’m afraid of, I could name a lot of things, but it’s things that we are probably all “afraid” of, but they will probably never happen. Like, being attacked by a shark, bit by a rattlesnake, falling off something really high/tall, etc.
I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be afraid of riding my bike downhill. This past weekend, I road my bike on the crazy roads of southern California with my friends Jené and Courtney. We spent most of the first half of the ride climbing, and I knew when it was time to turn around my heart was going to start racing. When we approached our first descent, tears just started streaming down my face. I told myself, “go as slow as you want”, “you can do this”. As I SLOWLY descended the twists and turns of the first descent, that had A LOT of blind turns, tears just kept streaming down my face. I realized, “I am afraid”. I don’t really know why I was crying, except that I was scared, and disappointed in myself. I’m disappointed in letting myself be so afraid. I’m disappointed that I no longer can descend the way I used to, and I’m disappointed that I no longer trust myself. I need to learn, truly learn how to break, how to descend, and how to trust myself again. The tears eventually stopped, but it was a loooong way back home. I was thankful every time I made it down a twisting and turning descent safely. I was thankful that my friends waited patiently at the bottom of every descent and asked if I was ready to continue.
Do we ever really know what we are afraid of until fear stares us directly in the face?
I like to think of myself as someone who likes to be challenged, take risks, and live life not in fear, but in acceptance and joy. To embrace all that life has to offer. I’m now faced with a fear, that I never had, and I KNOW it will take time to get over it. I never want to let fear hold me back in life. And so, that’s why I headed out on a 6hr ride, on a route I didn’t know nonetheless, and descended descents I had never done, so that I can challenge myself, and start moving on from my crash.
As I’ve said previously, my dad has always said, “we are here to conquer our fears”. I guess you never know when you’ll develop a new one, but it’s time for this fear to be conquered. I don’t know how long it will take, but I will get there.