running

Conquer your small fears

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About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

As you start this week, may you conquer your small fears. Because when they’re fears, they’re big to you.

I haven’t gotten back to my running game like I had hoped this spring (I was on a no-running hiatus for a year after I tore my ACL). And quite frankly, the reason is a little ridiculous, especially now that I see it typed on a screen: I live in a desert climate.

See, I’m a Texas girl through and through. Born and raised in Austin, normal to me is 60+ days over a hundred degrees, humidity off the charts (note I said “normal,” not “preferred”). Winters can have the occasional cold snap, but they’re nothing major—most of the year my hometown’s climate is mild enough. Give me hot weather over cold any day.

So it’s rather amusing that I currently live in the high desert of central Oregon, where even in July, the mornings are in the mid-40s. In the spring, the morning lows hover somewhere between 20 to 40. And while I used to run in the afternoons, when the desert climate is more to my liking, I’ve found that lately it’s just been hard to get out the door when I’m in the thick of work or parenting stuff. Mornings are best for a number of reasons—my day just flows better if I run first thing.

I know, I know—those of you in Canada and Scandinavia are rolling your eyes at me pouting over these morning temps. But we all have our el guapos in life, and well, this one is mine. I roll out of bed, see the 35 degrees stamped on my phone, and it’s pretty easy for me to say “Nope” while I pour a cup of coffee, open a book, and snuggle in to my favorite chair.

But Friday morning… I got out the door and ran. I saw this Facebook update by my friend and AoS contributor Alysa Bajenaru:

Alysa's screenshot

…and I said, “Okay—I’m just doing it.” I headed out the door before my brain even realized what my body was doing.

And you know what? I didn’t die. Even more… it wasn’t that bad. I managed to run just fine in 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

I file this under Conquering Small Fears, because really, in light of plights around the world, this is nothing. Nothing. But heading out the door at 7 a.m. gave me a dose of confidence to take more risks with slightly bigger stuff the rest of the day—stuff that matters more. My work. My kids’ education. My relationships. That’s not nothing.

Face one of your small fears,  head on. It’s probably not as big  as you think it is,  and you’ll come out  on the other side,  just a bit more confident. -Tsh Oxenreider
Photo source

So as you start this week, think of one of your small fears. And face it, head on. It’s probably not as big a deal as you think, and maybe you’ll come out on the other side, just a bit more confident.

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Comments

  1. Kudos to you on getting up and running in the “cold”! I live in MN, and my husband goes running even in subzero temps — I think he’s crazy!! For me, anything above 30 is walking weather. Thinking now about my fear to overcome this week…. thanks for the inspiration, and happy Monday to you!

  2. Congrats on the run.

    This was a timely piece as a whole as I’m starting a new workout routine this week and I’m nervous about whether or not it will even MATTER, let alone if I can do it.

    Have a great week!

  3. I definitely want to start exercising!!! This is one thing I’ve fought myself over a lot. But I don’t label running in 100+ degree weather a fear – more like a GIANT dislike! :\ Maybe I should start thinking of it like that so I can overcome it! lol

  4. I’m a high desert runner / live-r, too, and fall is my favorite running season, temperature-wise. I don’t know if this would help or just add more burden, but I find signing up for races keeps me honest. I have to get out there and do the work (but I’m no longer all hyped up about recording time, speed, etc.).

    I have do say I’m HAPPY to no longer be running in Louisiana, where if I didn’t get out before 8:00 AM I’d wither by the side of the road!

  5. I think I need to move to Bend. It’s 91 right now in NC. Barf.

  6. My little fear that I’ve been overcoming lately is also related to exercise. I go to spin class as soon as I drop of my kids. This keeps me from thinking myself out of it. The fear? Exercise clothes! This class is full of skinny, young Moms in great shape wearing cute workout clothes and makeup! Me? Ratty shorts and a t-shirt, no makeup, bedhead hair, and 50 pounds overweight!
    I tell myself over and over “This is not a fashion show!”

  7. That’s awesome–and I love the quote you shared from your friend! My husband and I just decided (about a week ago) to sign up for a 5K (with obstacles!). He likes to exercise, and I like to eat well (though neither of us had been doing either of those very well or, umm, at all)…so we’ve each been “leading” in the area that is our strength and pushing each other. We just took the plunge and jumped in!
    But I also love what you’re talking about with taking those little steps. Just doing it, that thing you’re avoiding or procrastinating on or just afraid of. Thanks for sharing those thoughts!

  8. Every season I need to acclimate – a second, separate time as a runner – to the temperature shift. But my body’s a lot more adaptable to changes than I used to think. And having recently taken on several things that I used to fear, I’m thinking my heart and soul need a little credit for being adaptable too. Thanks Tsh!

  9. Can we trade weather? I’m in GA and the low tonight is 62 (and it only gets worse from here). I run first thing in the morning but it’s still miserably hot and humid. 37F (or colder) is my idea of heaven.

  10. Run, Tsh, RUN!! I hesitate to post IG pics of my running because I’ve worried that it would have the opposite effect and frustrate people. It’s good to see that it was an IG shot that ENCOURAGED you to tie up your runners and head out the door. One thing that’s got me a bit scared right now? The idea of running a marathon (first time) for my 40th birthday this fall!

  11. Thanks for this inspiring post.. I believe important thing is to identify your fear. Then make a plan with some smaller steps you can take to gradually lessen your discomfort.

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