Fear Factor

 In Yoga Classes

By Cheryl Hansen

Does anyone remember that show? Joe Rogan was the host; three contestants would be challenged to do crazy stunts ranging from repelling from a helicopter into deep water to being covered by snakes or drinking blended worms. So even if you weren’t afraid of heights or water or snakes, they’d get you with the blender.

Fear is an interesting emotion. What terrifies one person isn’t even a blip on the next guy’s radar. And we all have a different way of dealing with it. Our puppy stood at the top of the stairs last night, afraid of the impending descent. It took us ten minutes to convince her to take the trip—encouraging her with each brave step. But today? She did it again and again—her victory lap, I guess—proving that not only was she not afraid, she was a pro.

If only I could conquer my fears that way. Oddly, I’ve been willing to do things many people would find unbearable, so to speak. I jumped out of a few planes in my twenties and spent a week in Alaska with bears and wolves. That kind of fear I can handle. What trips me up is this personal stuff—my plans to transform my life, body and spirit. I’m afraid of giving up those things that bring me comfort. I’m afraid it’ll take too long. I’m afraid of disappointing the people who’ve bet on me. I’m afraid of failing. And frankly, I’m afraid of succeeding … and not feeling any better on the other side.

Well, no wonder this is so hard. No wonder my progress is so slow. I have fear tugging at me from both directions. I’d rather have the blended worms. Or not. Maybe I should take a page from my pup’s playbook, taking it one step at a time and celebrating the small successes.

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