Fear and more fear

I am scared—let’s say spitless—over what I have signed myself up to do. That is to participate in the Torrance County 50+ Games track and field events, which are happening this coming weekend.

I’m scared mostly because I had hoped and planned to train for that event, but I haven’t done it. No excuses about why, I just didn’t get it done. So my fear boils down to being afraid of looking foolish, and of not performing at the level I want to.

I’m afraid of letting myself down and not following through—in fact, I really feel like running away from the event altogether. But running away from running is just stupid, so if there’s any running to be done it should be in a race. Right? That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.

Joking aside, I’ve had a pattern for much of my life that I’m working to unwind. That’s where I start to have success, and that spooks me, then I sabotage myself so I don’t have to succeed, and that way I don’t have to get spooked. I just stay nice and cozy in the dreaded comfort zone, dropping crumbs down the front of my bra as I snuggle in a little harder. Enough already.

So I’m determined to go to the track on Saturday morning and run, walk, or galumph my way around it—just out of sheer stubborn cussedness if nothing else. I set this goal for myself, and I will show up, and I will run.

I’m competing only against myself, and if my first foray into the Torrance County 50+ Games is an indicator, that’s likely to be the case quite literally. Last time I competed there was no one else in my age group so I took home all the blue ribbons. Now, I don’t really care if I can run faster than other 50-year-old women, although I am pretty competitive, and if somebody does show up, I will be trying as hard as I can to run faster than her. But the bottom line is that I want to improve what I can do, over and beyond what I could do before.

Like everything else in this journey from being a couch potato to an active and healthy lifestyle, the hardest part is mental. The hardest part is feeling that fear and then doing it anyway.

So what I have to ask myself is whether participating in this competition still seems like fun, since that’s the basis of my whole plan to get active: Find things to do that are so much fun I want to do them more than I don’t want to exercise. Right now, truthfully, it doesn’t seem like so much fun. But then I took a moment to type in the schedule of events—and it seemed like fun again.

My resistance is all in my head. Lucky for me I am stubborn as a mule and determined after a lifetime of neglect to make my health a priority at last. So I’ll be there.

The “track and field finale” this weekend is the last of the Torrance County 50+ Games, and will be held Saturday, May 14 at the Estancia High School track.

The competition is a precursor to the state Senior Olympics, which will be held July 13-16 in Roswell.

Getting underway at 8 a.m., events include races: 50 meters, 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters and 1,500 meters; races also include an 800 meter run/walk, a 400 meter power walk, and a 400 meter co-ed relay.

The field events include discus, high jump, javelin, pole vault, running long jump, shot put, standing long jump and triple jump. Other events include softball distance throw and Frisbee distance toss.

Registration is $5 for one sport, $8 for two or three sports or $10 for four or more sports. There is an entry form and other paperwork to fill out.

With questions, call Jerry Melaragno at 505-847-0402.

Does getting competitive help your goals in fitness? I’m always interested in hearing other people’s stories. You can reach me at 505-286-1212 or leota@lobo.net, or find my Facebook group, “I’m Losing It!” I’d love to hear from you.