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The Race Before Us | Oklahoma Sports & Fitness, September / October 2014 Issue

The word “fear” almost always carries a negative connotation. Fear can confuse us, make us doubt ourselves, or make us run and hide. More importantly, this distressing emotion is capable of paralyzing us and keeping us from reaching our full potential.

Fear comes in many familiar forms: fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of judgement, fear of being alone, fear of rejection, or fear of change - to name just a few. Yet every moment we spend swirling around in fear, we are cultivating a seed that gives rise to similar thoughts. The more we do it, the more we are set back. Instead of calmly processing a high stakes situation and rationally identifying solutions and ways to move forward, we often feed energy into something unconstructive.

If we think about it, a majority of the fear we experience does not come from a direct physical threat. Fear often stems from our very own thoughts and perceptions of what might happen in the future. We can liken this to letting ourselves be spooked by a scarecrow. Sure, it looks scary and seems scary - but with some courage, we soon realize the object of our fear is approachable.

The goods news is, we don't have to succumb to fear. And if handled correctly, fear can be a powerful tool. It can fuel us with strength and courage when we need it most. It can spur our faith and enhance our focus in the midst of big decisions.

In this issue, we feature the story of Oklahoman Jill Bates. Trapped in an unhealthy body, and crippled by the fear of failure, she made an important decision. With no real idea how to change, she decided to simply start moving. She learned to not only face her fears, but use them as critical components for change.

Today, Jill is in constant motion. She's tackling one intense workout after another, and planning her latest adventure. And with each new escapade comes that familiar question: "Can I do this?" But instead of doubt and fear holding her back, she presses on to experience the thrills of overcoming and achieving.

Fear is a universal emotion. It is something present within every one of us. In fact, it may be impossible to be fearless. But learning to use fear to our advantage is a skill that can make our biggest goals and dreams a reality.

Sean M. Call, Publisher/Editor
Oklahoma Sports & Fitness

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