Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rationalizing an irrational fear

I have a confession.  It will seem silly to many of you.  Some may understand.  Others may give me a puzzled look and say "Logan, with the fuck are you talking about?"  But it is me and what I have to deal with.

I have a fear of being awesome.  If I'm awesome then I have no excuses.  I am out of reasons for accepting failure.

When working in Columbia, SC years ago I was a supervisor.  We hired a guy, Gary, to work with me installing windows & doors in new construction housing.  He was in a halfway house for alcohol abuse and treatment.  Nice guy, real country, issues with the bottle.  His drivers license had been revoked so I picked him up & dropped him off at his place everyday.  Even took him to see his probation officer (for the DUI).

So after several months my boss & I were discussing staffing issues and talked about Gary and floated the idea of giving him more responsibility.  But he would need a DL.  Gary said there was a course required to get his DL reinstated.  My boss offered to pay for it.  Huge mistake.

Gary rarely missed worked.  Always had a valid reason or called if he missed work.  The day we offered help getting his DL back was the last time I ever saw him.

That night he stole a roommate's car.  Drove eighty miles one way across the state.  Came back through town then drove one hundred miles north of town to his hometown.  When he was caught and the car recovered Gary was drunk, swimming in a pond with a lady.

All of this violated his probation.  He returned to jail.  After being released a few months later he did call to apologize.  I didn't care.  My attitude was fuck him.  I needed Gary.  He shit on me.

Then I realized some time later we put to much pressure on him.  We exposed him to possibilities he was not ready to embrace.  So he sabotaged himself.  He was not ready for awesome.  I may not have put him in that stolen car or put the bottle to his lips, but I forced him out of a comfort zone.

I live the same pattern.  Without the jail visit of course.

I have found that running comes easily for me.  I've had to work for it.  It's not always easy in the moment, but over the long haul it gives back so much more then I could ever believe.

The fear is outside of running.  Real life.  Work.  Relationships.  Running one hundred scares me.  Not for the physical pain I am sure to experience.  I think I can handle the pain if I take breaks and talk myself through it.  What scares me will come after the run.  If I come through this weekend on my feet and complete the 100 I will have outrun my excuses.  Nothing will be in my way.  No more obstacles to being what I should be.

Excuses can be comforting.  We all use excuses.  I guess hitting this ultra, at this time, is my subconscious decision to deal with my reliance on excuses.

I had a curious moment last night.  Yesterday was full of anxiety.  Fear.  Dread.  Then a little thing did not happen that was a bigger deal than it should have been.  Very quickly I stepped up and resolved it.  And I had a moment of clarity.  Rather than being fearful of the pain and time and whatever else scares me about running one hundred miles I realized I am in control of my self.  I only have me to rely on (not totally, I will be part of a group - but you know what I mean).

I have to decide to drop the warm blanket of excuse.  I have to decide to be awesome.  I have to accept whatever consequences accompany that decision.


  1. http://youtu.be/N_Cvz_Bfue4

  2. Excellent post ... it is dead on. I had several "Gary-s" in my management days and it took me years to understand what you just posted. Thank you very much for sharing your insight and I am bookmarking this post to read several more times in the future.