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Track and Feels

Eighth grade track practice. Hurdles set up one after another. My shins ache just thinking about it. I never was one for hurdles… I don’t recall ever hitting my shins on them, because I don’t remember actually trying them. I was too afraid of the potential for failure, the potential for a caught shoe resulting in faceplant.

The hurdle is a visual I get when I think of an obstacle, something standing between me and success. Something that may be so challenging I would rather sit it out and not try than end up looking stupid or scraping my knees. If I had the option to move it out of the way or run around it, I would. But each time I faced a hurdle I would still be scared of it, I would be trying to figure out a way around it, and I may be making it into a bigger deal than it is just because of the fear of failure.

Without challenges, we have no incentive to grow. Come on, if your dreams were easy to achieve they wouldn’t be “dreams.” Once again, we revisit the concept of standing in our own way and allowing our mentation to dictate our success.

“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.” - Enid Blyton

What keeps us from action is fear: looking silly, getting hurt, failure. Lately, though, it seems like a better option than not trying is trying and failing. Revising strategies and trying again. Surprising yourself. Demonstrating grit, trying until you succeed.

I’ve been visualizing the track practice with hurdles clearly labeled in bold letters. I close my eyes and see what stands in my way. I take off, dashing toward the first obstacle and begin to fly over each. There's somewhat of an ease to the way I’m poised over the hurdle, the photographer has captured me mid-jump. Here, there is no way for my shoe to get caught or for stumbling, I have no doubt I will clear it.

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