Nothing to Fear . . .

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

-Neil Armstrong


So, the other day. I’m in a workout class on a circuit. This particular station was designated “cardio.”

“You have a choice,” our very large and intimidating instructor said. “You can choose one minute of jump-rope, step-ups, or jump-ups.”

Note that, for me, this is not really a choice. It’s probably residual competitive nature from my Orangetheory days, but when I hear that word, it is anything but. What the instructor was actually saying is, “If you don’t choose the hardest exercise, you suck. You sad, sorry little wimpy butt.”

That left me with jump-ups. One of my biggest fears.

My chickens are watching American Ninja Warrior these days. My oldest asked me one night, “Mommy, do you think I could be the Next American Ninja Warrior someday?” Glowing, absolutely glowing with Wonder Woman, feminist pride, I told her, “Baby? Absolutely. You can do anything.

So, I had to channel my own personal American Ninja Warrior. For her. To conquer that stupid box only a couple feet high and to show my daughter, who wouldn’t even see me, that you can conquor your fears and do anything. A teachable moment, just . . .without an audience.

But, hey. I would share with her later. So that counts.

And that’s what I did. I could hear the announcers in my head:


You know, last year, Jimmy? She could not make it past the infamous “Devil’s Staircase.” One has to wonder if she can summon her strength and to conquor that this year.

Well, you know, Stan. She makes it past this stage, and she’ll get further than any woman yet this year.

We can see here she’s taking her time, settling in. She looks solid . . .and . . .?


And I nailed it. Boom!

Now, why would I be afraid of jumping just a few feet onto solid ground?

I have visions.

Visions of falling backwards, mostly. Nailing my knee on the way back. Spraining an ankle. Straining my back. All of which would put me out of commission, something I just can’t allow to happen. Old people fears.

But ha! to you, stupid box! That’s all you are, two and a half feet of stupid box!


Stan! She did it again! Is there no stopping her?

Jimmy, I tell you what. See those little girls right over there? Those are her daughters that came all the way from San Diego, just to cheer their mom on to victory.


Okay, a small victory. A ridiculous victory. But I actually took time to write about it, because it felt that good.

So, go conquor your version of my box. I swear, you’ll find that one sweet moment will translate to the next. And the next. And the next, until you feel unstoppable. I guess that’s how American Ninja Warriors are made.

So, later that night, I told my oldest, Lucy, what I did.

She thought my announcer voices were funny.

“Mommy? Who are Jimmy and Stan? Their names are Matt and Akbar.”

A teacheable moment indeed.



3 thoughts on “Nothing to Fear . . .

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  2. I love this! a) your a badass, because those damn boxes can seem like they are 6 ft tall when you actually have to jump up on one, and b) you showed your lil’ ones that there will always be hurdles and obstacles and fear and doubt. And you can either let those things keep you stuck in complacency and ‘ordinary’, or you can take the risk, leap and feel the exhilaration of soaring and taste the sweet reward of being…well, a badass. 🙂
    Thanks for this, a fun way to start my morning!


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