BLOG: Fear of the First Time

fear-quotes-2Fear can be a crippling emotion, and can quite often hold people back from attempting things in daily life, and more often than not, for no reason. I’m thinking in particular to a few “Fearful Firsts” as I began my running journey. Fear and self doubt come hand in hand, and one normally fuels the other.

I recall going to my very first fun run, back in February 2011, the WAMC Point Walter 5km or 16km. A friend of mind asked me to come along with her, as she had told me how friendly all the runners were, and how much fun the fun runs are.  At this stage, I had only run 5km or so a couple of times, so attempting 16km, in a fun run, with loads of people who look like super fit runners was a bit daunting.  We arrived at 6:30am in the morning, which was so early, I could not believe how many people were actually up at this time of day on a Sunday morning!  As we drove up, my stomach started turning as the fear kicked in.   I really did feel sick and I wonder if I wasn’t with my friend, I may have turned around and driven home.   On the start line, I positioned myself nicely at the back, where I could just blend in.  I clearly remember thinking, what on earth am I doing, how on earth will I run 16km!  I’ve always liked a challenge, and I sure did finish the 16km in 1:44, approx. 6:30/km.  I’ll never forget running over the finishing line, and someone yelling at me “Well done, great run!”  I felt like I was King of the World.

A few months later, joining in on a Sunday morning fun run becomes “normal” for me….gee my friend was right, what a friendly (slightly mad) bunch runners are. Running on my own, doing my own training also becomes quite normal for me.  I am “blessed” with a competitive nature, with a strong desire to improve and always get the best out of myself.   In  2012, I now find myself in a situation where I am driving to my first Front Runner group training session….

FEAR has just kicked in on my way to my first group training session.  Once again, my stomach starts flipping, when I drive up I see all these super fit looking runners.   The thoughts are flying around…”I really don’t belong here” etc etc.  By the end of the session, surprise surprise, I felt great.  I came, I ran and there was absolutely no need to be worried….these people are all very kind, friendly and genuinely interested in making sure I get the best out of myself, no matter what level of runner I am.

Group training sessions generate an electric energy that is impossible to duplicate on your own.  Having other people to run with, is invaluable.  It doesn’t matter if you are a walk/runner, or an elite runner, there is always someone to work with, to push you to make sure you are getting the best out of yourself.  All it takes is commitment and perseverance, together with the will and desire to continue and work through the tough times, as well as the good.

With the group training sessions, my running improves nicely.  During summer, I join the Front Runner group for the first time…at the TRACK!   Driving to the track, I feel the same FEAR and nerves the same as my first fun run and my first group training session. Driving up, I see real athletes on the track…OMG they have bodies of pure muscle!  I am not going in there!  Sure enough, my first track session was loads of fun, and again I walk away feeling awesome, with absolutely nothing to be worried about in the first place.

If you have been thinking of joining our Front Runner group training sessions, go out on a limb, put the fear aside and come along and have some fun.  Push the excuses aside, and remember we will get the best out of you by making sure each runner of any level, improves individually and sees a gradual gain in their fitness levels over a period of time.

Just know, that any feelings of fear or doubt are experienced by many people at their first training session.  We know what it is like, so come along and kick some PB’s!  We provide the structure; you provide the commitment…simple.

See you out there soon;   You’ll see me cheering loudly, especially for the first timers…. 😉

Andrea Bell
Level 2 Coach AA
Front Runner Coaching Team

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