Greetings from the other side of Halloween. Thought of courage last night as I watched dozens of kids gather the gumption to approach my neighbor, Scotti's home. He put all of us to shame. 50 lava lamps. A neon ghost that danced with the wind. Scary Music. Dark secrets waiting to jump out and scare kids.
In some way, the kids summoned up courage to approach the house. Some had their parents goad them along. Some tried to show their friends how brave they were. Many never came within yards of the home. It was too scary.
What did Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous pilot write about courage????
"Courage is doing
what you're afraid to do.
There can be no courage
unless you're scared."
The sport of triathlon and endurance is filled with people who stare at some kind of fear...and strike it down.
Open water swimming intimidates lots of people. I've have had many people tell me they could do a triathlon, but "swimming in a big lake is just not for me". They fear the unknown. They are away from a comfortable lane in their comfortable Y pool. Its a whole other ballgame. The open water stops alot of people from getting into our sport.
Joe Sanchez, one of my buddies at Fox 8 did a triathlon a few years ago, but not before he summoned up the courage, the strength to wrestle the demons of open water swimming. It was no small feat. Thats why I respect what he did.
I have always been comfortable in open water. I grew up on Lake Erie. Spent day after day in the lake. Swam out far from shore. Hung out on a raft. Then swam to shore.
My first Ironman distance race, The Pineman in 1999 began well. But as 400 of us racers were out in the middle of the lake, the fog descended. We had NO idea where the heck we were. I felt calm amidst all that. I knew I would reach shore sooner or later. For me to get to shore did not take any courage. But for others. Those who never swam that far before. Those who were freaking out in the fog. They had to summon the courage to get to shore.
My gorgeous bride, gathers her courage every time she flies. Getting into a plane is no small feat for her. She lived overseas from age 10-17. Over and back from New York to Europe many times. But then, one day, she just got panicked having to fly in a plane. Every time since then, she works up her courage when flying the friendly skies.
All around us are examples of courage. Standing up to a bully. Conquering the fear of heights. Telling your peers you don't need to smoke that marijuana or drink that booze. The list can be endless.
How high can you fly?? Whats holding you back???