I Own My Story: Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.

THE FIT LIFT’s I Own My Story category will feature real-life stories of vulnerability and strength - physical, emotional or mental. We all have our own stories. Many locked away and too raw to reveal and some ready to share and inspire. Having courage to share your story is therapeutic and beautiful. Our stories can give others hope, strength and inspiration.  If you would like to own your story, please email us.  


{image source: mortality, via fitness-run}


“Vulnerabilty is our most accurate measurement of courage.”
- Brene Brown

My name is Sarah. This is my story – I own it.

Shortly after my third was born, I headed back to the gym.  My body didn't have much time to bounce back between pregnancies and I truly missed feeling and being active.  Heading back was a hurdle in itself, but I started slow with short workouts and a few classes.   There was one class I always loved to watch before my weight class.  Body Combat™, a superior cardio fitness program inspired by martial arts drawing from a wide array of disciplines.   I often would go early just so I could watch.  The instructors were fierce and confident.  The red-faced participants were exhilarated and drenched with sweat, but still smiling.

I wanted to try it.  I was terrified and intimidated.  The day I finally worked up courage, I remember circling the parking lot, gripping my steering wheel tightly, trembling, and repeating “you can do it!” aloud.

I walked in to the studio. I stood on the right side in front of the mirror.  The instructor introduced herself and asked if there were any newbies.  I sheepishly raised my hand, along with a handful of others. She explained a few of the core moves and away we went.  My first Body Combat™ class was the most satisfying, grueling hour of my life.  I felt as if I had ran a marathon and was the first one across the finish line.  I was so proud.  

I quickly developed a love for this class. You could call it an obsession.  It’s benefits are numerous.  It had empowered me, built my self-confidence, toned and shaped me.

Last Summer, after participating in the class for two years, I reached out to one of the instructors for mentorship.  I wanted to become an instructor.  I wanted to be the one up on the stage, leading, guiding, teaching, motivating and inspiring.  I wanted to share my love for the class with others.  She took the time to talk and teach.  I brushed up on technique and worked hard to prepare myself for an upcoming audition.

I was on the fence.  I was terrified of failing and fearful of rejection. I relied on the support of my husband and mother to collect the confidence I needed.   

It was deja vu.  There I was circling the lot, hands sweaty, tightly grasping the wheel. I parked and texted my sister, she told me “you got this.”

During the auditions, I was the most nervous I had ever been.   I think my nerves got the best of me.  I stumbled a few times and I definitely didn't do my best… but I tried my best.  I still felt as though I had a chance.

I found out a long, grueling week later that I didn't make it.   The competition was stiff.  I think I re-read that email nearly fifty times.   I cried. I felt defeated.   I wanted to hide under the covers.

It took a solid week of throwing my own pity party to snap out of it and realize that this was purely a life lesson.  I needed to accept failure as part of the process.  Taking that leap, being vulnerable and finding the courage to try was the most important lesson of all.   I needed to use that email as fuel.  Let it drive and propel me forward.  My failures have turned out to be my most incredible life lessons.  It just takes some hindsight to see.  

I’m keeping this goal in my back pocket.  I will try again.  I am a fighter.  

In the meantime, if I can’t bring that energy to the stage, I am going to bring that energy to the floor.  I am going to motivate the participants around me.  I will be the loudest.  I will punch my hardest.  And I will always try my best.   

Let your faith be bigger than your fear.  Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.   


“Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”


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