The first time I sat on my scoot I trembled with fear. I drove it around the block, parked it, and waited half an hour for the adrenilin to calm and my heart rate to slow.
The second time I did some drills with a friend. My thumb hurt too much the next day to even look at it.
Third time lucky, well sort of. I tried to ride to Bondi, but too scared to change lanes ended up in Double Bay.
The fourth time, still feeling the fear, I rode first to the petrol station (even filling up some strange hole under the seat felt scary) and I continued on, through multiple lane changes, all the way to university.
The fifth time the fear faded. My senses hightened to face the life-threating forces from in front, both sides, behind and below.
I rode, and I enjoyed.
There is real thrill in facing a fear, so when I read “feel the fear, and do it anyway”, a Susan Jeffers quote in a Community Mediation manual I was editing at work, I just had to blog about it.
You know, every day we find ourselves surround by things we fear – physical fears, psycholgical fears, relationship fears, financial fears, fear of failure, fear of what other’s think, fear of uncertainty, fear fear fear.
Often we let fear guide our decisions. It is easy to let fear rule over our lives.
I almost didn’t get a scooter simply because of my fear of getting hurt. My fear of ripping apart my skin, breaking my neck, or dying, the latter which would be my preference of the three…
So I held off for months.
Every scooter that passed me tormented me.
I wanted to be on a bike, and that was that.
So I asked myself, “If I was to walk onto the road and get hit by a bus tomorrow, would I regret not having a scooter today?” YES.
“How about if you get your scooter and have an accident and become a paraplegic, won’t you regret that even more?” Well… maybe.
So which might I regret more?
A fear of getting hurt still remains. I will probably feel it every time I hop on the bike. But the fun that I am having on the bike, makes it worth it.
Life is short – I want to live it to the full. I would rather live a shorter life, living each and every day to it’s max, then live a long life dominated by fear.
The thing to remember is that what we fear most are usually the things we least need to worry about.
“The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”
Baz Luhrmann Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).
You never know what tomorrow holds – stockmarkets and currencies and even civilizations eventually fall. I could die driving in my car or walking on the street or even laying in my sleep. If we live in fear, we are not truly living.
All of us will one day be old, and will one day die.
“Do one thing everyday that scares you.”
Life’s too short to let fear play a dominant role in it: feel that fear, and do it anyway, and (unlike me in this pic) don’t look back.
Since I’m still at work filling in time waiting to go to dinner friends I grabbed this pic from my facebook. Sometimes it’s annoying that this is a photo blog. Anyway it’s from an old editorial for the German magazine Shape that I shot in Sydney a few years ago. Don’t worry, I won’t be scooting around town in heels 🙂