Fear is perceived differently for all of us and our reaction to the fear can come out in weird ways as I recently experienced!
Working with women in sport, especially Snowboarding and Surfing a lot of my work is motivating girls and helping them manage their own fear or perceived fears. Of course athletic ability and body strength and control are priority factors too but I am particularly interested in our own personal relationship with fear, more often in our minds! A lot of what we learn on the mountain or in the ocean can be taken into real time and day-to-day living.
When our clients are standing at the top of a mountain, fresh powder below them and trees to race through initially our mind sees the excitement but often the fear can kick in, questions arise like can I control my board, can I dodge the trees, what if I fall over and can’t get back up? These are all queries that race through the mind, then coach Fifi comes into help plan the run – which route to follow and I instill confidence into the girls about their ability to conquer the run and most importantly have fun! During this process the breath is imperative to help calm the mind and bring oxygen into the body! I feel I have a confident approach and try my best to push the girls as having a gauge on their ability I only encourage them where I know they can be safe but push their own personal boundaries!
Snowboarding and Surfing takes a lot of physical and mental strength, being able to manage our own body and control the mind of useless thoughts that often inhibit our ride. The other great benefit from these sports is being in Nature, one of our world’s prized possessions.
A few days ago I experienced a scene I was not super proud of, but on reflection it was a fear based reaction to surfing and my own ability! All too often I am helping others so having the shoe on the other foot so to speak is challenging for me to try and take my own advise or the advise of others.
Having started surfing in my mid to late twenties I learnt on beach breaks, so I feel safe there knowing my entry and exit points to the water. Since traveling and learning to surf in other spots I am exploring my comfort zones surfing rocky point breaks. I find it super challenging especially on my backhand.
Getting back to the ocean after a month in Japan snowboarding I arrived home to Northern NSW, Australia to a cyclone swell ‘ Winston ‘ and a camping trip down the coast. Super fun getaway with my love and amazing weather and beautiful scenery greeted us! We had a very Rad time!
Anyway getting back to my fear story, on the Sunday we found a place to surf – a gorgeous spot, right hand (my back hand) point break, with peeling waves 3 – 4 foot, entry over the rocks and getting back in through a little cove to shore! I expressed my concern to my *BF saying I was nervous whilst going toilet for the second time –eeeek. I was nervous to get into the water and I was nervous to get out, could be seen as scared but at this stage I wasn’t really thinking straight, my heart was racing I was the only chick with the boys and their froth level was exploding. My BF had comfortably said he would show me the way – but in his over frothing normal-ness I was left alone to fend for myself (well that was how I perceived it anyhow), unfortunately I flipped and the toys got well thrown out of the pram! To cut a long story short and not to get into the gory details but my poor BF copped it. I was shitting and he got the shit!
Normally I wouldn’t be so uptight, but reflecting back having a month out of the water, the combination of a disappearing flu, jet lag and my angst of surfing around rocks it all compounded into fear running through my veins, my legs trembling and my heart rate going through the roof. If you ask my BF he is at amaze as to why I reacted the way I did, surfing around rocks is normal to him and he thinks my capabilities and adventurous nature far out weigh the scene I had created for myself, and the fear I had let myself be tapped into! Sometimes when you are around your loved ones there are no walls to hide the emotions and they just come streaming out like it is a safe place to let go!
However despite the situation I had created I entered the water and it was not nearly as bad as my mind had made up, or my ego had desired. I had a wonderful surf, it was challenging for me, lots of duck dives and in between some awesome waves and wipeouts. I am the first to say I am particularly hard on myself, through my life being brought up as the youngest of two older brothers I was always challenged to do better, and this has resulted in pushing my limits on my boards and in my career. On the outside it may seem different and I think we are all chasing away our own fears at some stage, whether it is love, nature, our sports, friendships, career or family commitments. As I am getting older I am already noticing my fears change, whether it is that I have seen more and my experience has highlighted lives lost or accidents occurred fear is definitely more prevalent within me these days!
Managing fear and identifying fears within us is important, knowing what is a fear and what is just not realistic at all.
Mindfulness practice like Meditation, Pilates, Yoga and self-inquiry into fears is all-helpful in over coming ourselves. I challenge you to work through your fears, probably don’t do what I did and blow up at ya BF, but be courageous and live a full life with adventure and fun.
Alot of the work I do is taking testosterone out of the equation and learning Snowboarding & Surfing in an all girls environment – keep in touch for upcoming events and camps ………thanks for reading and have a RAD day! x
This is taken from Wikipedia
Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger of threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding or freezing from perceived traumatic events. Fear in human beings may occur in response to a specific stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to body or life.
The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from/avoiding the threat, which in extreme cases of fear horror and terror can be a freeze response or paralysis.
*BF = Boyfriend