I have a secret. Sometimes, when I’m on the back of a motorcycle, I’m terrified. I know, it probably doesn’t seem like much of a secret. Riding a motorcycle can be scary, but I’ve never told anyone this, other than my husband, and I only just told him recently.
Overall, I love riding a motorcycle. I always dreamed of marrying a man someday who had one. And my dream came true! I love sitting behind him on our Triumph, and he loves having me as a passenger. But sometimes, when we’re on the freeway or going around some bend at fast speed, I squeeze him a little tighter, breathe a bit quicker and feel terrified panic course through my body. And when nothing bad happens I relax and enjoy the rest of the ride. And the next time, I get back on that motorcycle again!
See, I’m not someone who believes in living in fear. I don’t believe we should let fear control our lives. I never let it stop me from rock climbing, even though my dad tried to. Every chance he got he would tell me about some accident someone had while climbing or how someone (who was free-soloing) fell and was killed. He used fear to try to control me, to try to get me to stop doing something I loved. Rock climbing was more than just a sport to me. There is something incredibly spiritual about connecting with nature in such a raw, physical way. And there was also something so freeing and ecstatic about sending a route, accomplishing a hard goal. So I never let it stop me. Yes, sometimes accidents happened, but when using good gear and climbing with knowledge and experience it is extremely rare.
It can be hard to do things that scare us, especially when we have anxiety. But I believe it is good for us. Sometimes I still let fear stop me, but I’m trying more and more not to let it. I’m trying to teach my kids not to live in fear. My daughter used to be scared of rollercoasters. Then, one day, I made her and her brother go on a new roller coaster at the amusement park we live by. After we had gotten on and were just waiting to take off both of them started complaining, saying how they wanted to get off, they were scared, they needed to go to the bathroom. Like any good mom (hahaha!) I just laughed at them and told them it was too late to get off. They both looked terrified, but after we got off the rollercoaster they were both grinning and asked if we could go again! I’ve told my daughter many times that it’s good to do things that scare you. And now, she loves roller coasters! And I’ve seen her confidence shine through in so many instances over the last couple of years. Confidence can help with anxiety too.
So I challenge all of us to ride the motorcycle, climb the rock, go on the roller coaster. Go to that party that you’re scared of because of social anxiety. Go on the trip you’ve been planning even though leaving your house makes you nervous. Don’t let fear stop you from living your fullest life. Live it fearless. Live it to the fullest.