What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?

The Heart, Mind, and Spirit of an Athlete

After thinking about what to write for my first blog, I texted my college roommate Angie. She quickly said, “Use the discussion question from Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and ask yourself, “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”  She went on, “This is what you did recently by submitting a video and going on T.V. with some crazy obstacle course you had never seen."  

For me, deciding to run the American Ninja Warrior course wasn’t a tough decision.  The difficult part was: overcoming my shyness, learning to speak up, and developing my voice.   

Racing in the back of my mind, while being interviewed was, “What will people think of me?"  I knew I had the unconditional support of my family and boyfriend.  I knew the students in my class were rooting for me. But what would everyone else think?  


One question the producer asked during the interview was, “What do your fellow colleagues  think of you running the course?  I replied, “I didn’t even tell them yet.”  He was shocked and said, “Well, they’ll soon find out.”  I knew he was right, but I was still scared to tell people.  It took over two months, after running the course, that I even hinted about it.

After sharing the news, an outpouring of additional support followed. People had nothing but positive, uplifting messages before the show even aired. I was so surprised at how many people were excited to watch it - staying up for two hours to watch a short recap of the run.  WBRE even posted a story on their news station. 

After the clip aired, people were so excited and connected to the effort, hard work, determination, and perseverance it takes to overcome obstacles. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people said they were inspired to overcome something in their life now and took the time to share their story with me.  

I am so grateful for these amazing people in my life who offer support, encouragement and show the courage to overcome obstacles. Thanks for teaching me to hold my head up, in attempting to overcome these new and unknown challenges.

It wasn’t actually running the course that gave me more courage, but instead it was the radical support I received in trying to overcome these obstacles.  For me, I am learning to develop my voice, and I’m starting here with my very first blog thanking everyone for their support. It sometimes takes a big leap of faith to overcome the next big obstacle. But someday you’ll reach for that bar and go above it.

Everyone has obstacles.  What would you do if you weren’t afraid?