a little fear can be a good thing
The other day I decided to go outside for a run. It was still disgustingly hot and humid, but it wasn’t as brutal as it has been lately. It was one of those sunny and cloudy days, where moments of darkness give way to moments of pure sun. Feeling a bit hesitant to lace up and head out, as I haven’t been running much this summer, I tried to shake off my nerves and just get going.
Along the way, the weather took a turn. I was too far from home to just throw in the towel, so I had to trudge along with my workout. At one point in my run, I peeked behind me and saw it–an ominous, dark, stormy sky.
I have to interject my tale with a little background: about a month ago I got caught in a lightning storm with my dog, Gunnar. He was a puppy that had never even heard thunder or seen lightning, and I totally ruined the experience for him. We were about three blocks away as the violent storm descended upon us, and lightning was undoubtedly striking my neighborhood, as the flashes of light and the cracking, rumbling sound were instantaneous–there was no distance between us to break up the sound of light. Ever since that sprint through my neighborhood praying that we made it home in one piece, I’ve been unnecessarily terrified of thunderstorms. It makes it really interesting when I’m teaching an outdoor bootcamp class and I see a quick streak of light in the distance. On the inside I want to run to my car in a panic, but on the outside I have to keep it cool for the bootcampers. Not the easiest to keep it under control. PTSD, I guess! Aren’t I dramatic…
Anyway, the clouds were chasing me. In typical Florida-climate fashion, I ended up being literally on the border of the storm. Thick, vicious rain was behind me, sun was before me. What was a girl to do? Keep running!
And keep running I did. I think it was the trembling fear of storms that had me pick up my pace, desperate to beat Mother Nature. Before I knew it, I was running at a much faster pace than I ever have normally done–about an 8:15 mile pace. How did I have it in me?! Even if I stopped to look around and assess how far away the storm was, I didn’t have time to wait too long. I was the complete opposite of a storm chaser.
I returned home, safe from the elements and shocked at my overall pace. How did I sustain that pace for so long and not feel like my lungs were burning? Was it the adrenaline rush that made me superhuman? Was I capable of that pace all along and I just needed a kick in the pants to get me there? What more in life am I capable of?
The moral of the story: sometimes fear can actually help you out. If I wasn’t afraid of the storm, I would have just kept at my pace, embracing the cool raindrops on my body. If I never shook off my anxiety and went for a run, I’d never know I could still keep up my normal pace (and even impress myself with a better one!). You never know how you will react to something scary–but you never know, it could benefit you in the long run! …Like that pun there?!
Have a great weekend everyone!!!