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Hump Day Giveaway: Shuck an Oyster (and Your Sports Fear)

Six-pack of women (that's me 2nd from R): Our team name was She-roes

With constant reminders to, “be careful,” “take it easy,” and “watch out you don’t get hurt,” my father raised me to be the world’s largest chicken. I creep down descents on mountain bike rides, walking over rocky and rooted sections; I permanently streaked a pair of Vuarnet sunglasses by crying hysterically on a black diamond ski run. I have panic attacks on amusement park rides.

Thus it’s shocking to me how much I loved the final bike portion of the 2008 San Francisco Merrell Oyster Race. A Merrell Oyster race is a multi-sport event that is equal parts scavenger hunt, endurance event, and team-building activity. The sports are typically running, biking, and paddling, but a race can also include swimming, rock climbing, or, hey, even bowling. In the multi-stage race, each portion of the race is kept secret until the team is ready to tackle the challenge. At the start of a typically 3- to 5-hour race, each team (which consist of 3 to 6 people) gets a passport with a challenge on it. Once they accomplish that task, they find out the next one. In addition to doing physical pursuits, participants’ minds are put to the test searching for clues or solving riddles.

In San Francisco, I was part of a 6-woman team who always had three people on the course. My teammates and I had biked, run, in-line skated, and lay on our bellies and paddled a surfboard on the choppy bay. (Which, I was amazed, I adored, never once fearing sharks or rogue waves.) Now the only thing separating us from a win in the “6-pack” division was the final biking challenge. Dana, Andrea, and I headed out, searching for clues that would lead us to a spot where we had to ride to take a team photo. Dana quickly solved the puzzle, and we set out for a mural outside a bar in the city’s North Beach district.

Impunity ruled us. Fueled by adrenaline, Andrea and I urged Dana to cut through red lights.  We cut through the dark, dank Broadway Tunnel to save precious time; the harrowing ride through it reminded me of the psychedelic boat trip down the chocolate river in the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” movie. Barreling down the streets of North Beach toward Marina Green and the finish line near Crissy Field, we rode three abreast in a lane of traffic. Looking at Dana and Andrea and I threw back my head with laughter: Instead of being scared, I felt exhilarated and alive.

100 clams could get you these bright Merrell Barefoot Pace Gloves

Ready to pluck your sports chicken? This week two winners can choose their prize: Either two entries to a Merrell Oyster race of your choice for you and a brazen buddy, or a $100 Merrell gift certificate good for use on merrell.com. There are five remaining Merrell Oysters to choose from in 2011, starting with Seattle one this Saturday, then Portland on August 20; Denver Aug. 27; San Francisco Sept. 24; and Nashville Oct. 8. (Note: All travel expenses are on you--this prize is for two entries only.)  To enter, tell us what audacious or courageous thing you’ve done lately. It doesn’t have to be big and bold like sky diving or spelunking; it can be signing up for your first half marathon, donating blood for the first time, or calling your bank to reverse some bogus ATM fees. Lay it on us: What have you done recently that pushed you out of your comfort zone?

211 responses to “Hump Day Giveaway: Shuck an Oyster (and Your Sports Fear)

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  2. I ran the Warrior Dash and was freaking out about it beforehand, but it ended up being a great time. Just running for me is pretty audacious… I was always the nerdy, awkward girl with my nose in a book. Now I am a (really slow) runner and I love it!!!

  3. I’ve decided to go back to school, despite my fear of incurring additional debt. I want to be able to provide a great life for my daughter, and show her how important education is.

  4. The most courageous thing I’ve done recently is get pregnant again after a 2nd devastating miscarriage. I went through a very rough time, but didn’t give up hope.

  5. This will seem silly, but I took my kid in for a second opinion about his asthma. A small thing, but doing it Ina foreign country and a foreign language makes it seem cooler. ;). Though I figure every week I survive with three small kids in my husband’s country is pretty courageous.

  6. I’m having a baby this week!! That’s what I will do to push me out of my comfort zone!! 🙂 and then I will use these shoes to get back into my running!! Been using other Merrells but can’t wait to use these for running!! 🙂

  7. I quit my job last week. That sounds irresponsible, but it wasn’t a very good job. My paychecks were infrequent and incorrect when I did get them. It wasn’t worth the stress.

    By the way SBS, your legs are smoke’n in that pic!

  8. I told my mum that she had to quit asking when we’re going to have a second child. She wasn’t doing it to harass us, but my husband and I have had the talk, made the decision and it’s not anytime soon. It’s not preferred by either of us, but lack of space and money necessitate it. Still a bit of a sore subject, but we’re having fun with one. And to be honest age 4, even though his attitude could be better sometimes/a lot of the time, is pretty darn good in terms of being able to do stuff.

  9. I recently flew to Florida with my 3 kids (3, 5 and 9) by myself. I was so nervous that they would act up in the airport or on the plane. I am happy to report that it went well although the little one didn’t want to sit still so I had to entertain her constantly.

  10. When I was a little girl, my father jokingly told me that his job as a lawyer was “to worry about and take care of other people’s problems”. Despite this warning to Daddy’s soft-hearted girl, I became an attorney and have spent the past 12 years absolutely agonizing over Other People’s Problems, to the point that I haven’t been able to focus on my own life and my own family as much as they deserve. This spring I decided to shut down my law practice and I took a job waiting tables (still have bills to pay and all). Very few people have understood my decision & there are days when I feel like a quitter, but I am enjoying my life with my family so much more now. Maybe I’ll go back to school in a few years, but for now my life is balanced.

  11. We’re moving to get closer to where we work and save some money to get ourselves on a better financial plane. Our courageous part? Due to the local choices of schools, my husband and I have made the decision to homeschool. I believe we are very capable and am so excited to become a more active part of my children’s education. I am also terrified of failure. One thing is for sure: we will both need our runs once we start this! 🙂

  12. Ran my first half marathon! I swore I was not a “distance” runner and was happy to stick close to home on a short route. Now…I am registered to run a second half in October. 🙂

  13. Nookie in the pool with dear hubby – while the kids were at grandpa’s – in the middle of the day. Too hot for the bed!

  14. This story made me chuckle… in Jr high/High school I was a daredevil. I rode horses (and not just any horses, I had a young horse who’s put his previous owner in traction) and I BMX bike raced…. and now…. NOW? My friends laughingly refer to me as “The Safety Nazi”…

    But what have I done? that Qualifies as “Courageous”? I’m not sure. I think that courageous and stupid so often go hand/hand, that it’s hard to say…. what have I don’t lately that’s STUPID? Well… On Sunday 7/31 I’m running San Fran Half Marathon… and on Saturday 8/6 I’m running Providence. Brave? perhaps…. but I fear that when it’s all said and done, “stupid” is going to be the word I use instead.

  15. I attempted a Boston Qualifying time in my marathon despite my training not being the most consistent due to illness. Go hard or go home! I didn’t make it, but at least now I know, and if I played it conservatively and ran a 3:50 I would have always wondered.

  16. I gave birth to my first child… talk about one heckuva workout! I was terrified of the pain I would face, and it definitely wasn’t a cake walk. But looking back, it was a miracle to see my lil’ man face to face for the first time. And it was well worth the effort!!!

  17. my fear came true just a few weeks ago…while training for my first half ironamn I rode over railroad tracks and BAM, my bike went one way (off the road) and I went the other (in the road) it was a sad ending to an awesome training day (we swam a mile before riding and rode 45 miles before I crashed) i got back on my bike and rode about 1/4 mile back to my training partner. I had to face my fear during the half ironman and drive over track twice!!! I have since avoided the tracks where my accident was and have called the railroad company to complain.

  18. I’m going to run in my first race — a 10K the day after my 41st birthday! I’m slow, and nervous, but super excited.

  19. My husband and I agreed he should take a job in Alaska and now we’re moving there!!! I am a born and raised Texan from Houston of all places! So now I’m going from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska in less than a month!!! Transferring from University of Houston to the University of Alaska! Let’s just say I am very much out of my comfort zone!

  20. The fear that is still out there is the October half marathon I’m registered for. I started running at 44 last year and have done several 5ks and one 10k. I’m not really afraid of not finishing, it’s just a general fear of what can go wrong before or during…..
    The scariest thing I did recently was go on a 4-mile run while out of town for a long weekend. I ran by myself (which I never do) on a 2-lane highway outside a lake town. That’s probably the norm for lots of women out there, but not for me 🙂

  21. I just recently completed a year of being the treasurer for my son’s preschool. Now I have a year off before my daughter attends and I will again be the treasurer.

  22. Between June 5th and July 8th I drove through 25 states with my 3 daughters. (the husband was only able to join us for for 7 days of the 33 we were gone.). It was an adventure for all of us. We got to see friends I haven’t seen in a while (or my girls ha never met). See geography they never knee existed. We saw the aftermath of a tornado in Kentucky, the drought-stricken parts of central Texas, the recently crested waters of various rivers throughout the Midwest along with trying new foods like alligator in lousiana.

  23. I am a loner runner. I run occasionally with my hubby, but never with anyone else. It is a whole comfort thing for me as I am very shy. So today one of my neighbors asked me to run with her and I DID IT!! This is truly a BIG deal for me. I was so nervous. She is a friend of mine and knows I run alone, but she helped me along the way and chatted. It was actually really fun and pushed me right out of my comfort zone.

  24. Audacious & courageous recently? I told the truth to a friend, which was really, really, really hard. And scary. (And it reading back some of the comments, it looks like this is something that really does take a lot of courage to do.)

  25. I decided to celebrate turning 40 this coming August by signing up for my first sprint triathlon this coming October! Every training workout has had its own challenge — learning to use clipless pedals on the bike, running sprints on the track, practicing flip-turns in the pool. It’s scary and exhilarating at the same time!

  26. Two fold….Committing to being a triathlete for real (Sprints for now) and seriously entertaining having a private counseling practice. Each day they both scare the crap out of an invigorate me.

  27. 2 words. Triathlon Training. I had not done any real swimming in at least 15 years. A month ago I got in the pool and could only do 4-6 laps (25 yd pool). Swimming 2-3x a week has me now able to do 40 laps continuously (1000 yds). I can’t wait for the day when I can swim a whole mile! Not only am I conquering it, but I’m also LOVING it. It’s a refreshing workout that is tough, but gentle on the joints. I couldn’t be happier with it!

  28. We have been planning to buy a house in the next year, but we have a baby due in August, so we planned to wait until the start of the new year to shop around. Then a perfect-looking, perfectly priced house came up in our search, and we decided to just go for it. Long story short, we moved in yesterday, and the baby is due in 5 weeks. This is my second pregnancy is a row in which I moved at the 34-week mark, doing all the packing and unpacking myself while wrangling my four other little ones…I’m feeling a bit like superwoman these days!

  29. I’ve finally spoken about the I word to close friends. I want to be a mother runner and have been following this throughout trying to conceive, but it has been a difficult journey of infertility. While I hate the thought of infertility, it helps that I can now be honest with at least a few friends. I’m trying to remain positive though, as my doc says there’s no reason to give up hope yet. Until then, I’ll just keep runnin’.

  30. I’m going to be purposefully vague, but I took every ounce of courage I had to do it: I said “I can’t do this anymore” to someone. It was awful. I hated every second of it. But I had to do it and it is done and that difficult part of my life is in the past.

  31. I committed to running my 2nd half marathon with my sister. Sounds great, right? She’s an ironman triathlon competitor! This half will probably kick my tail as she will keep me going, but I’ll probably get a PR, right?!

  32. Signed up for a Warrior Dash…the running isn’t a big deal (funny for me to be saying that), but the obstacles have me worried..
    as for being chicken…I went end over end on a bike when I was 12. I was pedaling downhill and hit a pothole…I still HATE downhills. Even if I beat someone to the top, the pass me on the down : (

  33. I stood up to my son’s baseball coach when he was being grossly unfair to 3 players (my son included) by not playing them in a tournament game. I was afraid of being labelled as an overbearing parent, but I could not take it any longer. All of the other parents are afraid to say anything for fear of retailiation, but how much less can you play?! I felt empowered after the coach and I had a candid discussion about both sides of the issue. We both have a new found mutual respect for one another. If he can’t play baseball next year there is always lacrosse!!!

  34. I taught my daughter how to ride a bike! Growing up, it was my dad who taught my two sisters and myself how to ride a bike. As a single mom, I have been intimidated by the thought of this for a while, but knew I had to do it. I took her out every night to an empty parking lot and held the back of the bike seat and ran around with her. She was scared and frustrated, but we kept at it and it finally all clicked. So, conquering this was a big feat for both of us!

  35. I ran my first half marathon. Since having kids, I got stuck in the working mom guilt bubble where every minute I wasn’t at work, I needed to be doing something with or for my children. After 3 and a half years of that, I broke out and decided to do something for me. While I had competed my whole life in other sports, I had never really trained to run for the sake of running. I found a plan, signed up for two half’s about a month a part from each other and never looked back. Now I’m training for my first half. Running has made me a better person all the way around.

  36. Last weekend, my husband and I rode in our first organized cycling event. We did the 55k route, which was more than 10 miles longer than I’d ridden before.

  37. I’ve worked at the same company since I graduated college. It’s been one of the most constant and lasting things in my life for a long time. A few weeks ago I made the decision to take a position with one of our primary customers. I start in about two weeks and I’m excited but also so very scared.

  38. The most courageous thing I’ve done recently is something I’m in the middle of doing – giving up my enjoyable, well-paying job to move most of the way across the country and become a penniless grad student in search of a PhD. I have no doubt that it’ll be worthwhile in the end, but leaving my friends and financial security is somewhere between disconcerting and terrifying. As it is, I move in less than a month and start classes a week later.

  39. I didn’t let my fear of seeing a bear ruin my love of trail running. Funny thing is that the only place I have actually seen a bear is in my front yard last night!

  40. I read this when I returned from an early 6 mile run in which I conquered my fear and ran in the dark. I have never gone out int he dark before because I have always been scared. Well, I had no choice today with the heat and my schedule, so off I went with my blinking bike lights attached to my water belt. And you know what, I enjoyed it!

  41. The most courageous thing I have done lately is taking a kickboxing class. I was always scared to be the clumsy or weak one, but I signed up anyway and I love it!!!

  42. To enter, tell us what audacious or courageous thing you’ve done lately–
    Lately? Well, I am doing my first half Ironman in 4 weeks and the training schedule has been a bit demanding. This has caused some friction at home but I am sticking to my guns and standing up for my right to have something “for me”.
    It has been a long journey and this 1/2 Ironman is the culmination of a lot of hard work and will be a huge personal achievement for me.

  43. SO, after almost losing my feet to frostbite 6 years ago, my proprioception is absolutely shot (which means that I can not always tell where my body is in relation to where the earth is…can’t feel my feet hitting the ground, in other words). My friends find neat and interesting ways to help me with my downhill running 9and running in general) and today, my son and Justin Mock, suprised me with a run like no other. We traveled up to Idaho Springs to run up and down a mountain. Problem was, we had to take a burro with us. A burro I never met before, not that I have met many…

    We had to run up the mountain, trying to get it up no matter what (which was a stretch). BUT, I was more afraid to come down, as I had no idea how to get a burro to run…without running me over…down a mountain. I led it by the rope and took off! We had so much fun racing down the mountain, that I did not even worry about whether or not my feet were even hitting the ground. Down a steep, 2 mile dirt road, up another incline and down a single track back to the farm. I did not realize until it was too late, that I did, indeed, lose my feet and viola, found myself tumbling down the mountain all the while being trampled on by donkey hooves. Got up and was giggling so deliriously, that I forgot that I was afraid to run downhill. SO, to get over your fears, run like an “ass!”

    The best part of the whole day, was that my son, who had an unfortunate incident with a horse in his formative years, would never have done that on his own. he, too, swallowed his fear, to give his poor ol’ mom a chance to transcend her foot fears. (He even helped a damsel in distress and switched out his burro when hers was not cooperating after he found her sitting helpless on the side of the road). I run for sanity’s sake for sure, but today I was an extremely proud MOM!!!

  44. We just returned from a two week trip to Colorado. My husband had to go for work, so I had our three young children all by myself each day sightseeing in a new city. Each and every day was a new adventure and we did so many fun activities. I tried not to stress too much about being by myself – I just enjoyed each moment. I’ll never forget this trip!

  45. Well, swimming. I signed up for my first tri this summer (this Saturday!) and that meant I needed to overcome all my swimming issues. After I got in the water, it turned out I had several: putting my head in the water deeply enough (yes, still…you’d think 30 years of knowing how to swim would have overcome that already), pool drains, fear of other people thinking I’m flailing about in the water, fear that I actually am flailing about in the water, fear of what might be on the bottom and side of the pool (other than the drain) if I actually swim with my eyes open, which of course I need to do so I swim in a straight line (don’t ask me why, but plumbing stuff freaks me out) and finally when I started, the fear that I’d have to stop every lap to pant for breath during the tri itself. I think I’ve moved beyond those now, with the possible exception of the pool drain (the tri has a pool swim, which is good because it seems less scary then open water but bad because pools have drains). Mostly, I’m hoping I’ll get to swim in one of the side lanes on Saturday so I won’t have to think about it….

  46. I did two hours of a six hour team mountain bike race with my husband. A DNF is evidence enough that I was out of my comfort zone. But the marriage is still intact…in my confort zone there.

  47. The open water swim portion of my last triathlon was HARD. I had injured my eye a few weeks prior which meant I couldn’t do any open water swim training. It was also my first time swimming with new prescription goggles I had never used. I hopped in the cold water and went for it even though I was super scared. The water was so choppy that I couldn’t get a rhythm going or catch my breath so I ended up swimming the whole 400 yards on my back. It took 12 minutes but it felt like 2 hours. I was so thankful to finish the swim that the bike and the run were a breeze. I was so proud to cross the finish line of that race. After hurting my eye I didn’t think I was going to even be able to do it.

  48. I ran my first race ever, the Zooma 10K in Colorado Springs on Sunday! I’m a mom of two girls, and I just started running in March of this year. I started with 1 mile, then worked up to 2. A friend challenged me to try to run 5K distance, and once I achieved that, it was on. I worked my way up to a 10K and placed third in my age group in the race! Running has given me so much motivation in all the other areas of my life- my career, my health, and most importantly, my family. Achieving the goals I’ve set for myself in running has empowered me to be a stronger person in all areas of my life.

  49. I hesitate to admit that I took a friend up on her dare and went to an aqua aerobics class this week. Hmmm…more of a workout than I expected, kind of a stretch day for me. I figured what the hell, I’d laugh at myself and instead I found myself actually enjoying it. Hmmm.

  50. I am coming back to running and dance after a bad shoulder injury…in part because I have a new pup and in part because I need to get over my fear of more injury.

  51. I decided to place my toddler on a casein free diet to see if his speech will improve. A tad stressful considering how important calcium is and now I am stressing trying to make sure he gets enough calcium in his diet.

  52. I faced my fear of intimacy and completely opened up to the man I love in a way I never have with anyone. It terrifying and exhilarating.

  53. Last week I had 6 five-year-olds at my house for an impromptu play date. I started with 4 & made the mistake of posting on fb that I wouldn’t mind a few more. Neighbors took that as their cue & my doorbell started ringing & ringing. It was a little overwhelming at times, but we all survived. Running wise…my hubby set up an informal 10k for his Ragnar team. I’m not on the team, but last minute I decided to run the 10k. I felt a little out of my element, but pulled out a 2nd place finish. Maybe I should join the team! Nah…

  54. Welllll…. I signed up for my first tri and bigger than anything, I have declared this time a the second half if my life AND with that, I’m turnin’ over a new leaf and speaking out more. So far so good. Hubs was looking at a piece of estate jewelry and I stopped him & said, if that’s for me you might as well put it back cu I don’t like it. At all. Dude…the look on his face…it was great.

  55. I am doing two *new* to me running things, weekly speed work and I signed up for a trail half marathon(Wildwood, next weekend). And outside of running, I have been actually taking my 14 month old twins and just three year old out and about on activities that don’t include other people helping or them confined in the stroller, like the Children’s Museum and out on walks. This is really brave having three potentially going in three directions or throwing three fits at once 🙂

  56. Oh, my! What amazing, courageous ladies! I am most definitely a chicken. The most I have done lately is get rid of clutter (including those things I might need someday) and change the name of my blog. I did get invited on a group run that happens in a parking garage but could not go today since it is my son’s birthday…but hopefully I will try it the next time.

  57. My most courageous move lately was joining a women’s running group. I just moved here in January. I knew no one other than my husband, our daughter and people at our church. I joined the group in March and it has been one of the best running decisions I have ever made. I have met some great women and it really helped me step out of my comfort level both physically and emotionally.

  58. Totally pushed out of my comfort zone running 3 marathons in 3 days this month. Everything part of my body screamed “no” on day 3 and I did it anyway.

  59. Taking my 17 month old son to mommy-and-me swimming lessons wearing a two-piece bathing suit. (Me, not him, lol!) And I’m not even talking about a tankini. After two babies, that REALLY took some guts!

  60. I’m signed up and riding in my first ever cycling race this Sunday! It’s a 100km race in the mountains and the first 1/4 of it is all up hill. I’ve never biked that far in my life and am petrified of being dead last. I’m excited to try a new sport and hoping that it will make ms a stronger less injured runner.

  61. My two big accomplishments lately…signing up for a full marathon (said I would never do this). I’m so freaked out, but trying to have faith in my plan. The other was calling up a parent and reporting to them that, in fact, their kid is not perfect and they need to know why…Yep, I’m gonna call a kid out if they are a bully!

  62. As much as I’ve always loved the water, I’ve never been tubing before. It’s one thing to be on a boat, it’s another to be pulled along by one at break neck speed. It ended up being a total blast, even when I got flipped off the thing more than once 🙂

  63. I am planning my first 5k charity race in September (not as a runner – as a director!). Anyone that knows me, know that this is the craziest thing I’ve ever agreed to because I’m sooo not a leader. I am much more comfortable being shown the way and following. But, I’ve decided that if I can manage a household of 7 (5 of them kids), I can certainly plan a successful race. Scary? Yes. Overwhelming? At times. Can I do it? You better believe I will! (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…)

    *PS – Amanda R, I just read your comment and realized I totally look like a copycat because part of what I wrote sounded like what you wrote too. What’s funny is that I only saw it after I wrote it. I promise I wasn’t copying! And good for you making such a huge decision to be home with your baby!

  64. This is an easy one. We stepped way out of our comfort zone by hosting a French student. We had never done anything like this. My daughter’s first comment was, “Mom, you’re gonna let a stranger stay with us?!” Anyway, I’m so glad we did it. He’s been with us for two weeks now and although it’s hard to communicate sometimes, we are having so much fun. It’s been a great learning experience for everyone. And, believe it or not, he and I went for a five mile run together last night!

  65. My first hot yoga class while on a weekend getaway with my husband-105• and 90 minutes. Completely out of my comfort zone but I loved it!

  66. In 2005, when I was pregnant with my first child, my step-dad who I was very close with, was in a motorcycle accident. He lost his leg and was in a coma for nine months. He never regained consciousness and died in July of 2006. Two months later, my biological father drowned in a boating accident in a lake in Colorado. He was a good swimming, but the cold water made it impossible to survive. My daughter was 6 months old, I was 25, and we had both lost perfect people from our lives. So, this year, I have signed up for an Iron Girl Triathlon. As of 3 weeks ago, I could not swim and the bike just made me ridiculously nervous. However, I am training and fighting through all the inner demons that this race has brought up. So, on August 21st, I will swim .62 miles for my father, bike 17.5 miles for my step-dad, and when I let everything go and run 3.3 miles, that will be for me.

  67. I signed up to be a leader for a special ministry for women. We minister to their spiritual needs of course, but also a big part is to encourage physical activity as well, training for their 1st 5k.

    While I like to believe I’m a good runner and very well versed in it (for years) – ministering and speaking in front of people = terrifying to me. 🙂

  68. How recent is “lately?” In the past year and half, I have learned to drive a motorcycle, taken up the sport of running (and completed 3 half marathons), and driven in my first demolition derby–being the only rookie for that event was pretty nerve-wracking. I would love the challenge (physically & mentally) of an adventure race! Trying something new is good for the soul. 😉

  69. I am afraid of high heights so when my kids asked me to go up in the hot air balloon at the Philadelphia Zoo I was very hesitant but agreed. They loved it and were super happy I finally agreed to their balloon request.

  70. I just signed up for my first duathlon and I don’t even own a road bike! My fear of failure has kept me from doing lots of things but since it’s my first duathlon, I know it will be a PR!

  71. Running. I have never run before and in April I ran my first 5k. August will be my first 10k. I really never thought I would run that far, let alone enjoy it. Running has become my relief and I am amazed daily that I get out there and run. I love it!

  72. I have finally swallowed my pride and asked for help. Gulp, I asked for a cleaning person. I run my own business, two kids, a husband, train for races, and I am tired of spending my weekends cleaning and just plain tired.

  73. I’m turning 50 this year and have fought weight & body image issues most of my life. I’m currently on vacation in San Diego & bought a bikini that I plan to wear to the beach tomorrow – first time in 35 years. I started running about 2 years ago & finally felt like an athlete last year once I trained for my first 10K. Have finally decided that life’s too short to not feel great about myself!

  74. I did a team 5K obstacle course last weekend. This was a big deal for me because I typically shy away from team events for fear of dragging other people down and because I am a super wimp. But it was really fun!

  75. Today, I had to tell a friend that while I cherish her friendship, I can no longer do business with her. I struggled for two days with this…and all I can do now is hope the friendship will not be wrecked forever. Hmmmm…..

  76. I finally told my physical therapist that my therapy isn’t working. This prompted a detailed conversation with him, a follow-up appointment with my doctor and a decision to schedule a CT scan on my hip. I am not good at standing up for myself and didn’t want my therapist to think I doubted him so it was all I could do to speak up. I am so happy I did! CT scan tomorrow!

  77. I crashed my bike this am after only having rode less than a mile. I got back on though and finished the ride. It took a lot of guts to ride through the pain and the fear of crashing again. I guess I need more practice and have to learn that I can’t multi-task on the bike (yet).

  78. This isn’t overly daring – but, for me it was. I’m horribly inflexible. My chiro and physio both tell me that I should do more and I do my best but, really, I need a pilates or yoga class to get the consistency.
    However, all of my friends see me as superfit, superathletic mom so I was unveiling my greatest weakness – my flexibility – to them last week when I took my first yoga class. I survived the 75 minutes, modified whenever I needed to, and am ready to go back for me.

  79. I have been going on long bike rides, and not shying away from the giant hills. The tour De France inspired me to get out of my comfort zone…and the downhills make it all better!

  80. I just quit a job I absolutely loved with people I loved even more in order to stay home with my 5 m.o. daughter. Scary? Heck yes! Stupid? In this economy, maybe. The absolute right decision? Undoubtedly.

  81. Rock climbed Seneca Rocks, WV. I climbed it twice, this year and last. The rock is about a 300 foot vertical climb, after a crazy hike in. The scary part was not the climbing, but the repelling back down, over 1,000 ft above the forest floor, as my husband and kids faces flashed through my mind! Ahh! It was a lot of fun!

  82. Oh my! So funny, because I just wrote a post about mine. I signed up for my first tri this Sunday and just found out the river in which I will be swimming 550 meters has alligators! Yes, live ones! Are you kidding me? I have obsessed over everything about this race, and I mean EVERYTHING, because I’m so nervous . . . but alligators? I called my mom, and she had this bit of advice: Just don’t be the slowest swimmer in the water. So. There ya go.

  83. While on vacation I let my 6 year old ride his bike with me on the road while I ran. Bicycles on the road always scare me. It was not a busy road and he did great, we made it 6 miles!

  84. Well, I have finally committed to running my first half-marathon after one full year of running. I am NOT fast but I am so inspired by the work that St Judes Hospital does for children and families that I decided this was my race….I’m trying to recruit some fellow fun runners to join my team and run with the St. Jude’s Heroes while fundraising for an awesome cause. I’m terrified that I won’t finish. I don’t care about my time, I just want to finish. I’m registering for the Little Rock Full Marathon as well to keep myself on track with my training. 26.2 is daunting when I’m only running 7 miles max right now but I told myself last year when i ran the LR Marathon Relay that 2012 would be my full-marathon year! Wish me luck and if you see my on the sidelines…HELP A SISTER OUT PLEASE!!! Thanks to all you spunky ladies who keep me motivated!

  85. I’ve continued to run and bike after my partner in crime had a triple bypass at 43 with a widow maker blockage. My husband and I have been active together for the 20 years we’ve known each other – it’s how we met, in fact. We’ve done tons of race together until he noticed his endurance shrinking last summer during a duathlon. After a doc appointment and an angiogram, they found the blockage that was claiming his endurance.

    Now he can’t run or bike but coaches me to better myself. And I have – this has been my best year yet because he gives me all his passion and encouragement. I feel like I’m racing for both of us.

    1. I guess I didn’t clarify my chicken-ness. I stopped competing when he went through surgery because I thought I couldn’t do it without him. I didn’t want to go on if he couldn’t. In no time (when he was feeling up to it), he was kicking my ass telling me that even if he couldn’t race, he still enjoyed the energy so I’d better continue. He’s pretty amazing. When I do races, I can see the same look on his fact that I’ve always seen, except this time, he’s all about me.

  86. I took 3 kids grocery shopping today on two hits sleep with no coffee…and just ran 4.12 miles in this 100 degree weather on no sleep…( I work nights)…

  87. One of my 5 y/o twins wanted to sign up for soccer, but was chickening out. A few people at the sign ups talked me into being an asst. coach…depsite admitting I don’t even know what “off sides” means. They said it didn’t matter at that age, and I realized, if she was going out of her comfort zone, I could, too. We’ll do it together!

  88. I ran up a mountain trail today after having a two-day migraine and getting my heart broken. It may not sound big but it took a ton of courage on my part. I love those trails and I knew it would be healing – if not painful, too. It was.

  89. Ran the Midnight Madness race with Sue G last week. I am in bed by 10:00 PM every night and anal retentive about race-day logistics (especially parking) so a 12:00 AM race time and finding parking in the city (Philly) worried me a bit. It was definitely a departure from my comfort zone but it was a BLAST so I am glad I talked the two of us into doing it!

  90. I have a huge fear of heights, never camped in my life and live in Ohio where the elevation is 400 ft. I agreed to attempt to summit Mt. Rainier with an elevation of 14,400 in June with my husband! I trained for 6 months with a 40 pound pack on my back. On the climb up there were tears from fear and joy! We made it to the top!! It was the hardest thing I have ever done. The sense of accomplishment for conquering my fears is indescribable.

  91. I’m a PT and neuro cases are not my forte…however to help a coworker I agreed to evaluate one of hers, turned out to be a good thing to put me a little outside of my comfort zone…still not loving it, but feel like I can at least pose for awhile!

  92. I actually sought out medical help for my latest, and most serious injury. No “googling” for treatment and cures!

  93. My best friend Annette and I completed the Off Road Oyster in Bend, OR in under 3 hours…this was with both of us comIng back after injury

  94. Next weekend I have agreed to be part of a 5 woman running relay team participating in the Canadian Death Race in Grande Cache Alberta. My leg is 19k of trail, river, rocks, mud….. I am terrified, but excited about this new challenge!

  95. I started a women’s only long-run group that stemmed from a weekly fun run at a running store. I wanted to do long runs on the weekend with other women for company, safety, and thriftyness (carpooling). I’m not normally the most outgoing person but this was something I really wanted to do!

  96. Singing in front of strangers. For my birthday in a few days, I’ve coerced (ahem, encouraged) some friends to go try karaoke. Several of us, including myself, have never done it. Looking forward to a fun evening (even if it takes a little liquid courage to happen)!!!

  97. I bought a Garmin. I know that doesn’t seem very courageous, but for me it is. I’ve been afraid of getting faster and trying harder with my running. Not having any watch to keep track of my pace/time/distance was my excuse for not pushing myself. So far, having it has been great, though my runs have definitely been harder!

  98. Just this morning I ran some hill intervals on the treadmill. For a girl who only runs on the flats, I was way outside my comfort zone.

  99. Funny as it might sound my bravest thing has been planning my first post baby run. I see my doctor on Friday afternoon and Saturday am my running BFF and I are off for my first run. I’m really worried about how slow I’ll be but she doesn’t mind and is super supportive.

  100. I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon in seven years (and 2 kids later). I am finishing up chemo treatments and decided I needed to get in better shape. I haven’t ran consistently in at least 2 years and in my first training week, I pushed too hard and hurt my IT band 🙁 Still struggling through though and now just hoping I don’t have to continue on chemo so I can run “free” for my 1/2 in September.

  101. I took a job teaching a class at a local college! Very out of my comfort zone as far as speaking in front of a bunch of young kids and intimidating thinking about getting them to learn something! But so far it has been really fun and a great challenge!

  102. Last weekend I was out hiking a new trail when I ran into snow. Lots and lots of snow (summer hasn’t arrived quite yet in the Oregon Cascades!). It completely covered the trail, so I had no idea of my path’s location. I was also concerned about traveling over snow on a slope – I didn’t want to slip and slide into a rock or tree. I contemplated bailing on my hike. But summit fever overruled those thoughts, and I continued on. I’m no expert on route-finding so this definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone! With the help of my dog and trusty gps, I was able to find my way, kick steps through the snow, and eventually made it to my destination. Once on the summit, I felt I’d achieved a victory. It made me realize when faced with a situation, I have the ability to do much more than I think I can.

  103. I quit my job! It was a miserable job with pay so low it was hardly there. But I am not a quitter!! I was dreading quitting. So much that I thought I might stay at that job forever….alas, I finally got the courage up, and I quit. It was amazing. So liberating. Like a weight off my shoulders. Sometimes you have to really put yourself first and stop those energy drains.

  104. Well, I have a fitness breakthrough – I took up mountainbiking. Talk about facing the fear of pain and bleeding! I wrecked my first day out in clipless pedals, but got back up, got on the bike, and rode out – blood dripping down my leg.

    Personally – I’m starting to push the envelope on my clothing. I’ve never even tucked in my shirt while wearing dress pants. Today, I AM! I’m embracing my body as fit and healthy!

  105. One of my god friends from church had been diagnosed with Leukemia which is a blood cancer about 3 weeks before. I felt helpless! So not only did I give blood for the first time in my life, I organized a blood drive in his honor at our church and spoke from the pulpit about to boot! The local Red Cross thought we’d get about 20 units but we had 47! Lots of folks came out for the first time this night! We would have had more but the Red Cross ran out of bags!!! We were turning folks away for the last hour! It was phenomenal and I can’t wait to give blood again! Extra bonus: my friend is considered in remission now! It’s a pure miracle!

  106. I hate asking for things, especially money — there is a long history behind that. Anyway, that’s why joining Team in Training was such a challenge for me — but I did it! I then asked anyone and everyone I could think of on their suggested list of potential donors. I couldn’t believe the # and amounts my loved ones, friends, family, friendly acquaintances, business affiliates, etc. donated! It has been amazing (and was certainly very uncomfortable at first), but I am so glad to have raised money for such a fantastic cause. I am well past my minimum and on my way to Nike Women’s Marathon! Yay!

  107. I have recently done two courageous things – signed up for my first half marathon (October 16th!) and started taking English horseback riding lessons. Riding and running on the same day is quite a workout!

  108. I signed up for a local half this October. Before reading RLAM – The Book, I was content with doing my one and only 10K this past Memorial Day, and then settling in for 5Ks the rest of my running life. While I swear I’m never going to do a marathon, I am really excited about the half! And scared, too – scared about running for that long, the training, will it be hot that day (HATE running in heat), etc. But I’ve signed up and paid, so no turning back 🙂

  109. I went kayaking for the first time with my best friend from high school. We had a great time and will both do it again.

  110. Running up and down a hill called Sugar Loaf Mountain on Monday. I have been avoiding this workout for 4 years, but was brave enough to try. I will admit that I won the downhill leg (3/4’s of a mile), but the hill won the uphill. I’ve decided to do this run once a week, hopefully I can conquer the uphill eventually.

  111. I am the biggest chicken in the world. I face my biggest fear on an almost daily basis because my husband is a cowboy and I am in a perpetual state of worry for him and my two boys. They rope and tie down huge bulls and cows that have been left on the ranch for too long and have gone wild. I am always worried that they will be hurt or killed. My bravery comes from keeping my worries to myself and not letting it show.

  112. This may not be the typical answer, but i gave up the running for a while to have baby number 5. This is a big deal to me since I had set some pretty lofty goals for this year and sheesh, we already have 4 kids! And no, I am not the super mom who can still run at 9 months pregnant. My bladder cant handle that kind of pressure 🙂

  113. I recently (as in, yesterday!) firmly committed to a desire I’ve had for a long time to start my own outdoor guiding business. Totally terrified, no idea where the money will come from, yet it’s one of the things I’ve really wanted to do since I was in college. And why the heck shouldn’t I? Bout time anyway. Wish me luck, perseverance, and whatever else I need. 🙂

  114. My husband would love to do something like this! I’ve just recently started training for my first ever half marathon. A couple days ago I ran the most miles I’ve ever run in my life. I was so nervous before starting out but quickly found my groove and actually pushed a little past the goal! It re-motivated me for this half coming up. I’m so excited!

  115. Seems silly, and maybe not-so-courageous to some, but I recently got back on my bike for the first time since falling off of it and dislocating my elbow last summer. I was terrified, but I miss my bike, and just needed to take a breath, mount up, and ride……

  116. I applied and interviewed for a job! I have a second interview later this week and then it’s the waiting game. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the past 3 years, so this whole process (getting together the resume/cover letter, sitting through an interview, simply thinking about going back to work) has been challenging.

  117. Last Friday I took my first yoga class. I was petrified. Im not flexible. All the chanting, chakras and earth signs freaked me out to my bones. But with my first Marathon on the horizon (NWM), I am very aware that I need this part of my training. So I bit my lip and went for it. I brought the wrong mat. I got ‘help’ 3 times because I was totally un-namaste. I yelped. I flailed my arms. I laughed internally when the male yogi spoke about menstrual cramps. But I did it. And I was proud. Sometimes it takes getting out of your comfort zone to impress yourself and that feeling is worth all the childposing fish planks in the world.

  118. The most courageous thing I have done recently is signed up for my first half marathon the end of October. The longest race I have ever done is a 10K and my friend and I decided this was the year to do the half. The half marathon the the Lake Natomas Four Bridges half on October 30th. Can’t wait!!!

  119. I have been avoiding teaching private lessons,(feeling like I am not quite ready or good enough?)
    and finally tackled one yesterday.. and it was teaching an 8th grader! It went well, and don’t know why I waited or hesitated for so long!

  120. My husband (of 13 years) moved out a year ago. I started dating about 3 months ago and realized that I’d fallen for my new beau. My daring deed was to share this with him. Out loud AND in print. Yikes! Even writing this here gets me all nervous. It may seem like small beans to some, but this is terrifying for me and letting myself be vulnerable is the bravest thing I’ve done since I applied for graduate school almost 20 years ago.

  121. In January a number of us ladies decided to train for a fall marathon this summer. People got hurt and now it’s just me. I never thought I could run more than 5 miles alone. I recently did 16 miles and it turned out OK. Listening to replays of the morning radio talk shows (that I can’t listen to with kids around)helped keep me occupied!

  122. I ran barefoot for the first time the other day! I did it to see if it would help with my shin splints and boy did it ever. Who knew?! I actually just bought a pair of the Pace Glove last Sunday. I would love another pair in another color. I seriously love them and will nit go back to “regular” running shoes.

  123. I ran Ragnar Chicago on a whim with a bunch of strangers! It was completely out of my comfort zone, but I had a blast and am so glad that I did it! 🙂

  124. One of my closest running pals and I competed in a midnight “glow-stick” 10K this weekend. The course was pitch black (except for the beautiful almost-full moon) so all you could see were hundreds of runners glow-sticks. They were around wrists, ankles, waists, ponytails and more, and it made the whole experience so fun! Though not necessarily “scary”, not being able to see anything on the course, where your footing was going to land, the water stops – and you could barely see the turn around!- it made it far from a standard run and way outside our comfort zone. The icing on the cake was taking 1st & 2nd in our age group – when we thought we were just out having fun!

  125. I rode the Dragon Challenge roller coaster at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my daughter because she wanted to go. I was dizzy for 2 hours afterwards! Of course the vomit flavored jelly beans didn’t help (Bertie’s every-flavored beans).

  126. This is a hard one for me…as I read the post my initial response was “you paddled in a bay…there are sharks!” Discovery’s Shark week promos have been running lately. I am 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, but really considering registering for The Great Race in September despite not really running during this pregnancy. I normally won’t register for a race unless I have trained for months, but I think I’m just going to do it.

  127. I’m getting ready to move to Colorado from Chicago in a few weeks! I’ve been hoping for the opportunity for a long time and am so excited that we finally can do it. I’ve been daydreaming about trail running, mountain biking, and all the things that are inconvenient to do when you live in the middle of the city.

    The other day it occurred to me that although I’ve been riding a mountain bike for years (off curbs, through potholes, etc.), I don’t really know how to ride off road and am going to be starting from scratch. Here in flat Chicago, I’ve only used about three gears on my bike–ever. So I needed to learn how to shift to go up a hill. So on a whim, I decided to ride up our only real hill, which I believe is an elevation gain of about 30′. It’s mostly grass, with a few ruts worn down, and I took off on the beaten path. As I got higher, I shifted. The wrong way. And pretty much stopped in my tracks. I had to walk the last few feet. Riding down was a little scary. The second time I went up, I shifted the right way! Success! And I narrowly avoided wiping out on my way down when my front wheel went into a rut.

    For a lot of people, this would be nothing. It was a small grassy hill. But I’ve been a flatlander my whole life, and that’s about to change, so I needed to learn a new and previously unneeded skill. I know I need more practice before I can enjoy all the trails ahead of me, but this was a big first step.

  128. I tried mountain biking for the first time! Eeeeek! I was terrified (and kept thinking “it would be so much easier to run this!”) but I did it and am SUPER proud of myself. I’ll probably go again. Maybe 🙂

  129. I left my house today ready to share the gospel. I didn’t end up sharing it but I made the decision that if I had the opportunity I would do that. I’m not a very bold person but I’ve been praying for boldness.

  130. I plead not guilty after I recieved a ticket for driving without registration. I was scared, because truly I was guilty, I did not have registration. My 5 year old son was with me when I got the ticket and he came with me for my “trial.” We sat in a small courthouse, the judge appeared, the police officer explained to the judge the error, and the the judge said “Don’t do it again.” That was it and I didn’t have to pay the fine! Yay!

  131. It probably wouldn’t qualify for being brave but I did a crazy night run with my good friend Katie who is training for the Leadville 100 a few weeks ago. We went up Green Mountain in a rain/thunder storm at 9pm at night. The fog on top was wild and the lightening (thankfully up in the clouds) would frequently show us that we couldn’t see anything except the fog. Then the mud on the way down made for some tricky footing. It was a blast and something I would have never considered to do on my own (even though Katie said she would have bailed on anyone else except she knew I would run it with her). Thanks Katie!

  132. After having my 4th child 8 months ago at the age of 40, yesterday I pulled on my dusty running shoes and went out for sprints—- with all 4 kids. We held “races” (sprints) in the neighborhood, circling the streets aiming for stop signs and other landmarks. Right now maybe I can’t find time to go alone, but I CAN take them along and make it fun for all of us.

  133. My husband and I have decided to start trying for baby #2. Scary b/c my husband and I are both very active. We are a two athlete household. Very scared about what adding a second child will do to our ability to juggle family, work, and training. Also, scared that I said my husband could sign up for an Ironman for June 2012. That might be the scariest part!

  134. My families summer vacation this year was in Puerto Rico.
    I surfed the open ocean, zip-lined the rain forest and kayaked a calm river for the first time in my life. I had a blast! The best part of the trip was doing the adventures next to my husband and sixteen year old son.

  135. My husband has been working like crazy lately…he was working on meeting a deadline for his publisher and disappeard to his basement office. Our kids have been dying to go camping, so when some family invited us for an overnight camping trip, they were very excited. My hubby, however, was still under deadline and couldnt join us. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and took my 3 kids (8, 6 and 3 years old) camping. Definantly out of my comfort zone, but also worth it!

  136. After spending 17 years home raising kids and running my own business and in essence, being my own boss, I’ve gone back to work. Ok, it’s only 15 hours a week, but I am having to answer to someone else. AND it’s in a field that I haven’t been formally trained in.

    New stuff and definitely out of my comfort zone.

  137. After a hiatus from exercise of over 10 years, Two babies and one B.A. degree I got back on the horse again. I’m a swimmer, so running is VERY foreign to me (I don’t do well on land) and I’ve only done 1 race before. To keep myself motivated, I signed up for a 5K all by myself after 4 weeks of running. it was amazing and now I’m hooked! I’m so glad I tackled the fear and self consciousness that i let hold me back.

  138. I didn’t realize how out of my comfort zone I was yesterday until I walked into a storefront to sell my old gold jewelry (broken chains, rings I stopped wearing years ago) wtih my two younger kids, and the proprietor talked to me from behind a bulletproof window. Seems smart, especially since it was three doors down from a gun shop that I never knew was there (until I noticed the metal mesh covering the windows and doors), but I somehow just thought it would be a little more friendly…like Kay Jewelers?

  139. I started crosstraining for running by swimming, and that naturally led to questions about whether I would eventually give a triathlon a try. I hadn’t been on a bike in about 25 years and when I last rode at all, I frequently ended my outings with narrow escapes from death by falling. My neighbor recently gave me a very old mountain bike, and just last week I FINALLY got up the nerve to ride it around the block. I didn’t crash OR die. Maybe a triathlon could be in my future AFTER all… 😀

  140. After 2 years of consistent running..1 marathon, 2 1/2’s…I still hate my thighs. They are not toned at all. I finally signed up with a trainer at my gym. I start on Fri. Definatly out of my comfort level!!!

  141. i signed up for my first half marathon in support of my sister in law, who loves to run but has always struggled with knee problems and decided to conquer her fears with a half. i am not competitive, i didnt play a lot of sports, and im still not entirely sure i can run for 13 miles- but i do know i can run 9.

    i had a 9 mile run on my training plan for last saturday and was so nervous i was sick to my stomach friday and saturday. but i survived it. i ran more of it than i though i would be able to and i know if saturday had been race day, i could have made it to the finish line. and for me, thats the goal.

  142. Over Spring Break, I went zip-lining with my kids in Hawaii. The last zip required a running jump off a cliff. I let my son go first because he was DYING to. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done as a mother, but the amazing smile on his face was worth it.

  143. i recently tried teaching my 9 year old daughter how to water ski. getting in that cold water and worrying if she’d freak out when she fell…as well as the boat leaving me in the middle of the river if she got up. it was all terrifying to me!

  144. I know this wouldn’t scare some, but being president of my daughter’s preschool school board! We have a director and more than one board member with really strong personalities and I don’t like confrontration. But, I do think I can do a really good job. (It still scares me though!)

  145. After torturing myself with incessant diffidence, I conquered my fear of WordPress and started writing a blog. Who knew I could actually post something that came out looking halfway decent, albeit not doctored up and customized!! Now if only sounding as polished were that easy…..okay, I’ll settle for looking good for the moment (never complained about that before, as I recall)!

    So I forced myself to do this by signing up for the Trust 30 Writing Challenge from Ralph Waldo Emerson — I posted something every day on Twitter and/or WordPress in response to a daily prompt for 30 days. It was an empowering experience. Check out the blog posts at namitapatel.wordpress.com.

  146. My most recent courageous act has nothing to do with running. After finishing my first half last month, we packed the kids up to go visit friends and family in Kansas City, and also for my husband’s twice yearly oncologist check up. He’s been in remission from the rare form of cancer, fibrosarcoma, for two years.

    While there we got bad news, there is something growing again. It is likely a new tumor. And we are very likely looking at battling cancer again, but we will do it. And we will beat it again, because I will not live without my amazing husband.

    So my courageous act is once again facing the unknown, being as normal as possible for our three kids, making doctor appointments for him, and waiting. Because sometimes waiting with grace is the most courageous act of all.

  147. I signed up for my first marathon after only completing on half. I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon on behalf of the Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure. So not only am I taking on training, I’ve taken on fundraising for an amazing cause.

  148. Starting a new job tomorrow (will I be a total failure!) and hiking with a friend’s 3 month old baby on my front and haing to hop over a stream… scary because I didn’t want to fall flat on my face with the baby on my front! I did it though!

  149. I started to run with a running partner. For years i have been afraid to commit to running with someone because i was so scared i wasn’t good enough or that i couldn’t keep up. The whole idea just freaked me out! But thanks to my dear partner, i now love running LONG runs even more! It really is like social hour and a free therapy session all wrapped into one! I don’t regret much in life, but i do regret doubting myself and not doing this sooner!

  150. My girlfriends and I are signing up for pole dancing classes! This is way out of our comfort zones but it’s supposed to be a good workout so hey, why not?

  151. I have FINALLY decided to jump on the bandwagon and try swimming- I hear so many people love it and it’s great for cross-training, but I’m a super scardy cat (since I was a swimming lessons dropout at age 9). I know I can stay afloat- not worried about that- but I just feel so dumb going to the pool when I have no idea what I’m doing (as far as swimming with any sort of technique). Also, I hate wearing a swimsuit. So this is really confronting two fears- swimming and wearing a swimsuit. 🙂

  152. I stopped pushing the stop button on my Garmin for each of my short breaks! I realized I thought I was running a great pace, but factor in my breaks and it wasn’t so good. So to get out of my comfort zome I don’t even look at the watch until the end of the run now to see what I can truly done. Amazing thing though, I CAN finish my long runs not without those breaks!!!

  153. I am pushed outside of my comfort zone weekly when I lead a run at our local running store. When I was asked I thought it sounded like fun, I am always one to encourage positive things in my neighborhood but I was later struck by the fear of 1. not be liked 2. no one showing up 3. being the slowest runner out there 4. hating waking up at 5am to run. While I’ve had 2. and 3 happen I have lived. Getting up in the morning has gotten easier and I realized it isn’t about being everyone’s best friend. Leading a group is about being a good communicator, friendly and welcoming. I have done that. That said, my Tuesday nights I go to bed with a butterfly in my belly worrying about the run in the morning.

  154. I had my first trail pee recently! I swear, if my LPPM is not within 5 mins of starting my run, I have to pee all over again! That means if I drive anywhere to go for a run, it MUST have a restroom at the trailhead… and the other day it did not! I found a spot behind a huge old oak tree, and now when I pass it on my runs, I refer to it as my Pee Tree.

  155. I volunteered to be a discussion group leader for our mom’s church group. Although I’m a natural comedian and great facilitator; I always get nervous praying aloud in front of people. Now I’ll get to do both twice a month.

  156. My husband and I coach a softball team and he couldn’t make it to the last game. I had to take my 2 kids to the game, make out the lineup and the scorecard, make sure everyone had everything they needed, keep an eye on my kids and play 3rd base. It was hectic and out of my comfort zone and it was raining the whole time!

  157. We are in a major heat wave in Kansas with over 20 days at above 100 degree heat. After returning from a nice cool vacation, I decided to get back into a running routine. It is hard to get motivated when the low (in the middle of the night) is 80. I am done sitting in the air conditioning though. I must get back into shape before the school year gets rolling and I am busy grading english papers and dealing with all my freshmen. It would be so much easier to just forgo the run and concentrate on getting the year going, but I know that the running will also make the year go so much better. It is really hard to justify that time for myself even though I know it is time for everyone else around me also!

  158. Since last summer, I’ve completely changed (well, most days, anyway) the way I eat/drink/live. At 43, I realized I couldn’t continue the way I was going and be the active, healthy sr. citizen I dream of. So…I started monitoring food intake and started Couch to 5K. I had to go through the ‘program’ twice in order to actually be able to complete a 5K, but that’s ok. In the meantime, I participated in 4 or 5 online weight loss challenges. Each week, pics were posted of me on the scales. Talk about ‘out of comfort zone’. I didn’t even OWN scales when I started. I completed the challenges with varying degrees of ‘success’, as far as ‘winning’ goes. They were all successful in that I continued to lose weight to reach a healthy weight/lifestyle.

    I’ve progressed from walking to running, and recently signed up for the St. Louis Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon. AACK! A year ago, I couldn’t run around the block and now I’m actually paying money to run 13.1 miles?!

    Fueled by a successful, albeit small-field, 5K, I signed up to go ziplining in the Ozarks. What?? I’m a cautious-by-nature, somewhat accident-prone, 44-year-old mom of a preteen, who can’t afford an injury due to well, being a mom and wife and employee and volunteer and, oh yeah, the aforementioned 1/2, and and and…. I’m excited beyond belief!

    In preparation for the 1/2, I’m entered in a 10K on what I expect to be a rather hilly route in Missouri in August. If you haven’t been in Missouri in August, you have no concept of what that means. Think, running in a sauna….

    All that to say, my comfort zone has been expanded in the last year. For the better!

  159. I started teaching yoga! Public speaking and having to be graceful and coordinated…..there have been some real life moments.

  160. My courageous act this week has been stopping the workout when I realize that I’m injured. I usually push on through and end up on the sidelines for multiple weeks. I chose to throw the towel in yesterday and save myself. I fought self doubt and chose to be a smart athlete.

  161. Physically the thing that is outside my comfort zone was getting back on my bike. It had sat in the garage for 4 years. I feared the traffic and not being able to see an approaching car like I can during a run. I bought a mirror that fits on the left handle bar and away I went. I love the switch up from running. Mentally outside my comfort zone is building a website but not a standard website but a institutional level website to be used by researchers. Gulp, this is difficult!

  162. Defending a talkative client at a hearing on no sleep, no food, and after an all night running induced puke fest. I was schooled by the judge for some stupid mistakes, but at least I didn’t vomit on anyone.

  163. I recently signed up for a marathon training group through our local running store. I was VERY nervous about running with other people, and have been wanting to join a running group for awhile, but have been too scared. This is also going to be my first marathon, and starting to train for it was overcoming a BIG fear of running that far!

  164. I am going to be going back to school to get my personal training certification. While this doesn’t seem scary, I actually have a degree in accounting. Right now I am a SAHM and going back to school (for something totally different) and starting a new career is a little frightening to me. Fitness is something that I am very passionate about so I can’t imagine going back to “Corporate America.” Wish me luck!!

  165. Ha, I bought a baithing suit. I have never felt comfortable in a suit Ever! Having recently lost some weight, with the help of doing the C25K challenge, I decided to splurge and get a very cute and flattering tankini. I plan on rocking it next month when we go to the Jersey Shore and I will feel confident! (right?? RIGHT!!)

  166. You said it! I signed up for my first Half Marathon!!! After my gal pal asked me to try running with her (admitting that she wanted a running buddy), she loaned me Run Like A Mother to read about other women who run. After reading the book I was empowerd! We started running together! I’ve ran in a couple 5K’s this year already, looking for a 10K to run and I will run my first HALF MARATHON The Zooma Great Lakes in October! I know it’ll be a lot of hard work, training, learning but I know I can do it! I am energized by the power of running!

  167. My husband, whom I love with all my heart, is very mentally ill and has been hospitalized for three weeks. . The actions he takes as a result of his delusions are hurtful to myself and our son. The bravest thing I have ever done is first, to leave home and drive to a yoga retreat three hours away when he was completely psychotic, and second, to stipulate that he can’t return home if he is not following the doctor’s treatment. I don’t know what will happen, but I know I am saving myself and my son.

  168. My courageous thing was actually saying no to someone who asked me to do a favor. I hardly ever do that, but it was the right thing to do in the situation.
    I also think that continuing to run through this desert heat, even inside on my treadmill, is very courageous and strong of me. 🙂

  169. Recently, I decided to put my career on hold and be a stay-at-home mom. This decision did not come easily as I had put a lot of time, energy and work into my career. Also, my decision meant becoming a one-income family. So far I have no regret.

    Also, I just signed up for my first half marathon in November! We’ll see if I live to regret that decision!

  170. Last week, I attended the National Conference for my company, Thirty-One Gifts. Not only did I teach two training classes to 200 people (speaking is a MAJOR fear of mine), but I also danced on the main stage in a flash mob in front of 9000 people in Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH! It was crazy but a ton of fun, even if I was in the back row and no one could see me!

  171. At the encouragement of a friend, I signed up for a group running program. I was nervous about running with a group (always run by myself), not being able to keep up, looking like a fool, etc. As it turns out, it has been the best thing I have done for myself in a while! I love running with different people and I love the encouragement and spirit the group provides even as we run in 103 degree Texas heat…

  172. Ran my first 1/2 on July 4th and promptly signed up for another one in the middle of August! Who knew I would enjoy it so much. . though the nerves will still be there closer to the start I’m sure!

  173. I’m pretty shy and don’t like to feel like I’m bothering people, but I had to overcome that and make some noise about my youngest daughter lately. She needs physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy, along with other things that insurance has denied… I learned just how persuasive I can be, how forceful I have to be, and that making noise can get things happening. Watch out for this mama bear!

  174. I was asked to be a pace group leader for my running group and accepted! I also decided it was time to get rid of stuff cluttering up my life so I’m having my first garage sale this weekend!

  175. I love to ride my bike but I am terrified of sharing the road with drivers who can be less than attentive while operating their vehicles. I have a vision of being plowed down by some teeny-bopper driving at erratic speeds while texting “lol” to their best bud. Rather than be crippled with fear and avoid an activity that brings me joy, I have decided to be as safe as possible and hope to not become road kill. On Sunday, I took off on my bike and cruised the country roads. It was so quiet and I tried to take it all in, the sights, the sounds, the smells. It was so refreshing to be alone with my own thoughts. I rode 22 miles that day. It is my longest ride to date.

  176. I agreed to be treasurer of the elementary PTO – I still have a preschooler at home and hope I have over-extended myself!

  177. After having 3 kids in 3 years (!!), I signed myself up for a Boot Camp classs. It was 5 days a week from 5:30-6:30 a.m. for 4 weeks. It was the hardest conditioning I’ve ever done but I feel much stronger and liberated now! The hardest part was staying awake the rest of the day running after the kids 🙂

  178. While I realize I am too late for TMI Tuesday, my recent brush with fear was on a 10 mile run with way too much liquid before hand meaning there was definitely going to be some open air squatting. I managed to finish up, butt to the road, pulling pants up just in time for a police car to cruise past. My other brush with fear – riding the drop tower at Kings Dominion — two days later it got stuck way way up there!

  179. For 38 years I have been afraid to put my face in the water and swim! I would do my own form of the breast stroke…just with my head above water so I could breathe & not get water up my nose. We had a 4-foot above ground pool when I was a kid. My nose plugs were always faithfully around my neck so I could so my tricks, sommersaults, handstands, etc, when I wanted to and not get water up my nose. As I got older and could no longer overcome the embarrassment of wearing nose plugs, I gave up my “tricks” and just “hung out” in the pool, standing in the water & or sitting by the pool. Now, we have bought a new home that has a pool…inground, with a deep end. I have to be able to swim to save my kids or somebody else if they were in trouble. The incentive has never been greater (we always swam places with life guards in the past!). Just last weekend, at the ripe old age of 38 (nearly 39), I overcame my fear of water up my nose and I learned to put my face in the water and swim! I even dove to the bottom of the deep end! I’m proud of me! And a little water up your nose isn’t the end of the world. 🙂

    1. Way to go Janna! I recently did a pool workout w/ my running coach and can’t believe what an amazing workout it was. I’ve never been a strong swimmer and have never learned how to swim. Don’t get me wrong – I could swim enough to stay alive but I know nothing about swimming strokes or technique! So way to go for you – over coming this huge fear!

  180. Several things, actually: For running, I am ratcheting up my miles for a (1) “big race that shall not be named” in the fall, requiring me to learn to be comfortable (2) running by my chicken self (with cell and mace and no music, but I’m out there!). After not riding more than 10 miles at a time in almost 25 years, I trusted my improved fitness and signed up for–and completed–a (3) 60-mile bike ride for Habitat for Humanity. Then, yesterday, after not swimming for almost 20 yrs (and no open water for about 25), I joined a friend for a (4) 400-m after-the-run lake swim. I’m typing, so I have survived all of it! (Actually, it’s been incredibly fun!)

  181. on sunday, I had to tell my boss I was giving her notice to leave for another job. I had major anxiety ovet this I made myself sick for 2 days!

  182. I have to say the most courageous thing I am currently doing is watching my two girls and the dog alone while the hubby is off in NM for a month of TDY and still managing to get out to the gym for my runs (on a treadmil, but hey a run is a run right) and just making it through each day with most of my sanity intact. 🙂 We are 1 1/2 weeks in with 3 weeks to go, woot~

  183. your example is my adventure: I signed up for my first Half Marathon!! Coming up in September I’ll be running 13.1 miles around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. ahhh!

  184. I have definitely had my fair share of fear holding me back. I used to have this really weird fear of tripping and falling while running on a treadmill…so much so that this fear would actually lead to me tripping up a bit trying to watch my feet while I ran on one. Eventually, I just got over it! Anyhow, the most daring thing I have done lately is submit my mammoth sized application for a job in the Department of Defense School System as a Substitute Teacher for this coming school year! EEEK! I even checked the box for sub-ing in the high schools, my 2nd biggest fear – dealing w/ TEENS! Wish me luck ladies!

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