Nervous and tense – facing fear on a multitude of levels. Me, my bike, two daredevil cyclists, and an idyllic course.
What could be better – a bike ride in glorious high country – with a local?
I was feeling a bit
nervous, anxious – tense – Yes, all right I was scared BIG TIME.
You see our friend is a seasoned mountain biker.
Like my partner, he isn’t easily scared.
He’s someone that throws caution to the wind – gets in there and gives it a go.
And whilst I’ve gotten braver and accomplished things I’d never dare – facing fears with an adventurous husband –
I’m still a wee bit cautious at times – especially when it comes to outdoor recreational pursuits.
It all started so, so well.
The terrain was undemanding – no what the f$^^!! do I here moments.
I adopted the ‘Let the boys roar on ahead’ while I mosey on behind – at my own pace.
I shoulda known, right.
It was like they’d sat down – over the best coffee they could find – and devised the strategy.
A strategy that was all about – Greg coming out of this biking trek – in one piece – intact (physically, mentally…. and bike-wise).
I mean this was a trek – where Negative Nelly – was let off the leash – and was ‘goin to town’:
- nope – can’t do it;
- I’ll stuff it up;
- I’ll get half way up and run outta legs;
- I’ll end up in a crumbling pile with the bike parts scattered everywhere among the gorgeous surrounds;
- You $#!!! (*&^ why’d you bring me here (Yep I was losing it a bit here, need to chillax).
Anyway back to the ride.
I shoulda known – The gentle beginning was a ruse – gently lulling me into ‘this’ll be okay’ terrain.
Up ahead were steep, steep *&#$@! hills – yep one after the other.
And little did I know about the dips or incredibly tight corners – that induced heart palpitations and buckets of sweat – and had me almost too scared to look ahead.
So I’m looking at these hills slowly approaching (as my pedal speed suddenly dives) and thinking SERIOUSLY!!
- Side note and BTW: Did I mention this wasn’t your everyday bike track? It was a track favoured by the daredevil locals: a track we later found out was utilised for recreational competitions.
Suddenly, Devious Greg recognises this opportunity for what it is – and makes his grand entrance:
- Why not chillax right here Greg…
- Text the boys and tell them you’ll see them afterwards.
- I mean they’re off on their Boys Own Adventure.
I shoulda known though. I shoulda known.
There he was…up ahead…just waiting…
Devious Greg is no match for our awesome friend – or my husband for that matter.
- Do you think they were gonna let me chillax?
- HELL NO!!
Having a husband – who encourages, supports, and recognises capacity and possibility in me when I’ve closed down to fear…
A husband that is patient to the point where I’d probably long have given up.
Now that’s ONE thing – but you mean to tell me there’s a back up – a standby – a friend who’s like that as well.
I was outnumbered here big time.
Our friend is there through every twist and turn,
through every OMFG heart stopping occasion .
- Yep you’ve gotta jump that.
through every up and over bone shaking obstacle and
- Seriously anything loose here – is lost forever.
It’s like he’s read my mind – like he’s listened in to Devious Greg’s incitements.
He trails just behind me – offering clear, pointed instructions (no waffle, no bull*!#@!).
He recognises the efforts I’m making.
He sees the capacity and possibility in me – and makes it manifest. Helps me see it.
He’s there in a way that’s not forced – not uncomfortable – not ‘will you leave me the $##@@! alone!!’
Whilst my heart feels like it’ll give out – whilst I’m still panicked – whilst I’m still scared to the point of tears – at times –
with support in either direction, what’s a boy to do?
I’m facing fear – I’m feeling it and riding through it.
I’m being confronted with the reality that my fears are not coming to fruition.
Heck, I’m making it through – to the next OMFG moment – and the next – and the next…with my bike and me still in one piece.
Tentatively, and more surely over the distance, I trust more in me.
I exceed my business as usual – my taken for granted thinking and ways of being.
I exceed my oh so comfortable zone – in these moments. Over and over.
I ^&%!! do it!!
Thanks to these most Devious and Cunning of Strategists.
Facing Fear – Resources
1. Check out another Fearful moment for me – when I went Rock Hopping.
2. Risk-taking can take various forms. It’s not always of the daredevil type. Sometimes it’s just everyday events.
Great read Greg.
I one of those freaky people motivated by fear. I love the adrenalin rush and the thumping heart beat and the unknown.
I suppose I’m lucky I don’t need to live an extreme life to experience fear. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll jump from anything into pretty much anything; but I also experience fear when speakng to large groups of adults, or beginning a new job etc.
When speaking to groups and starting new jobs, I know I will be fine and am pretty good at it, when jumping from heights or into water, I trust others have done it safely before or I have the appropriate equipment.
Do we react differently in our fear when we are trusting ourselves or placing trust in others? Does this change the type of support we offer someone who is faced with fear?
I give a more direct offer of support when some one is trusting me and less direct support when supporting someone to trust themselves.
Cheers Jen. I think you’d gel well with my biking buddies.
You’ve really got me thinking with your questions and ponderings about the different types of support. And I love being challenged to think differently.
In my situation, there’s been a different type of reacting to fear when I’m with my ‘adrenalin rushing’ husband or friends. I’m still hyper-aware of me and the heart thumping but feel so so strongly the unobtrusive yet so present and challenging support around me. There’s almost a pulling between the two – yet somehow the latter prevails.
Being in these fear-inducing situations has got me thinking about how we offer ‘support’ because the support offered by husband or his friends is WAY different to the support I’m used to. It leads me to do things that I almost stand outside myself and say, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this.’
Thanks so much for the wondering.