I try very hard to live a life not dictated by fear. In my opinion most fears are unjustified and often irrational. I will not allow anyone’s imagination, especially my own, to keep me from living a full and adventurous life. Or least I will try very hard…
This morning I found myself waking up in a strange city. I had to travel for work, but still wanted to take my morning run. When I say morning I mean morning. I generally start my runs before the sun makes its appearance in the sky. At home that never bothers me. I feel safe at home. I rarely have images from past suspense movies flash through my head as I run the trails that I know. This morning was WAY different! All the books and movies flashed through my head as I made my way down the path.
And such an incredible path it was. The running trail in Petoskey, Michigan follows the shoreline around Little Traverse Bay. The sights and sounds were incredible. It was more than worth the moments of irrational paranoia, and the scenes from old movies that passed through my minds eye. I pushed them aside, and ran further than usual.
I am proud of the things that I have accomplished by not letting fear drive my decisions. I travelled through Egypt within months of 9/11, and learned SO MUCH by being an authentic American willing to respect their culture and speak to them with an open heart. I travelled throughout Brazil alone, even through the rain forest with spiders bigger than my fist. I rented a beat up old Volkswagen while attending University of Cape Town and travelled throughout the Western Cape alone. One night in particular I was in the middle of the Cedarburg Mountains without another soul in sight. I didn’t sleep much, but I didn’t leave either. Any of these trips would not have been possible if I given in to fear and each of these trips created many of my most cherished memories.
Keep your ear open to fear. Some of the warnings in your head are justified and reasonable, but many are not. Many will keep you from savoring the most righteous fruits this life has to offer.