Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The UGHKnown

What is about the “fear of the unknown” that paralyzes so many people from moving on and trying new things in their lives? I grew up in a small town in Northern Georgia and the year I graduated from high school we had more scholarship money than any class before us. I am not talking huge scholarships to Harvard or Yale, or even athletic scholarships to play football or basketball at major schools. For the most part, the class of 1989 had scholarships that made good smaller region or state schools affordable. However, a very large percentage of people with the scholarships never made it to college or only to the Junior College down the road (and most never graduated from that).

I was asked on numerous occasions how I could go to college so far away. How far away do you think I went? To Texas? California? Manitoba? Nope, I went to Mercer University in Macon, GA. My trip was 93 miles from my parent’s house to campus. The main reason these people did not take the scholarships, I found out later, they were afraid they would not make friends. They had bought into the fallacy that high school was the best time of your life. I have repeated told high school kids that I work with that if high school was the best time in your life, then I should just shoot myself.

I find it hard to believe that the simple fear of a controlled unknown ruined people’s life. Ruined may be a harsh word. This irrational fear did not allow these people to live up to their full potential. It short-changed the individual and it could have possibly short-changed the world. Who knows what one of these individuals would have accomplished?

The same is true for our athletic endeavors. If the irrational fear of failure keeps us glued to our sofa, who are we short changing? Yourself for sure and on many levels at that. You could be short changing your spouse (getting sexier) and your kids (living longer) and maybe even some person that you have never met yet.

So overcome that irrational fear, get off the couch and make the world and yourself better.


Rainmaker said...

There's a guy that started walking/running last summer on my street. He was probably 300+ when he started. He was just walking for the first few monhts. It appeared he'd got a few miles (over time) based on the various points I'd see him on various days. Over the course of the last 12-16 months he's slowly built up from a super-slow-jog to a nice run. All the while shedding pounds at a sustainable rate. Kinda neat to see. I'd see him out there running last winter on some of the coldest days, just moving along. And some of the hottest days during the summer.

Pretty amazing - anything can do anything if they set thier mind to it.

Jenn said...

I grew up in rural Illinois and it was very uncommon for people to leave the area. If they did go off to college, they often did it in groups and basically hung out with the same people in college that they did in high school. Even though I only went about 60 miles away, I joined a sorority and made tons of friends from all over because like you, I was wanting to try something new.

nice analogy ...