The season of facing my fears 

Rachel Flanagan Uncategorized


It started innocently enough, and on a whim.

It was one of those beautiful September mornings, and I had time for a short run. As I started out on my usual route, I had an idea: it was time to face my fears and go down Tobacco Road.

About a year ago, I was bitten by a Pitbull on this road while I was out on a run. I consider myself lucky that it was only a small bite but it did scare the bejeezus out of me, and I’ve been afraid of running on this road ever since. It pissed me off because I love that route, and I hate that my fear was holding me back.

But I had just spent the weekend with a room full of brave female entrepreneurs in the fitness world, and I was still feeling the afterglow of being around them. Plus, two of my weekend roommates were Pitbull owners, and by the end of the weekend, they had me feeling better about my Pitbull fears.

So I decided to run down that road for the first time since Memorial Day last year. I had forgotten how beautiful the scenery was down there, and how much I love running in the country.

Did my heart pound when I went past the house with the dog? Yes. Did I stop running? No.

Emboldened by my running victory, I was hungry for more ways to face my fears.

As luck would have it, I got a text from a friend: “Want to join me for a hot yoga class?”

UGH, I thought. A hot enclosed space with people sweating profusely right next to me. It sounded like the NYC subway platform in the summer. No, thanks.

But then I thought, wait. Face your fear. So I told my friend I was in.

I’m proud to say that I made it through the whole class, even though it did confirm how much I dislike being overly hot in a small indoor enclosed space. But everyone else in the class seemed to be so relaxed, so I tried to give myself over to the heat. The woman next to me in class was in such a zen state that she didn’t see bothered by sweat pouring off of her, and the giant pool of sweat collecting around her mat. Her zen state also must have clouded her judgement, because she left the class without wiping up her zen puddle of sweat. I’m no yogi, but I’m guessing that’s not proper yoga etiquette. Can’t say I’ll be rushing back to take another hot yoga class again, but we’ll see. I may change my tune in December.

After my hot yoga experience, I thought, “what next?”

Once again, fate stepped in. I was with my cousin Ashley celebrating Rosh Hashanah (happy new year, by the way) at my parents’ house and she mentioned that she was teaching an Intro to Lyra and Silks class at a local studio. “You should come,” she said.

So I did. And you know what? That was probably one of THE MOST FUN afternoons I’ve had in a while. Ashley is a total badass. She is super strong and whips around on that Lyra hoop like it’s no big deal. I tell you, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it if I didn’t have the upper body strength that I have now. But since I do, I could somewhat easily pull myself up onto the hoop and sit up like a parakeet on a perch. Or a mermaid, or whatever I was supposed to look like. It was just plain fun.

So I’m not sure what’s next. Jumping out of a plane? Public speaking? Krav Maga? Holding a snake at one of those snake shows? The possibilities are endless.

Anyone want to take on a fear this month? Walking in to the shadowy weight room in the gym? Running your first 5k? Taking your first spin class? I say go for it. It feels fantastic to move past a fear.

And hey, while you’re conquering the world, take a selfie and mark it with #faceyourfearseason. I’ll cheer you on from afar!

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