Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Conquering My Fears

I used to be fearless...seriously would try anything. One time in college when I was home on vacation, I told my parents I wanted to go dad wasn't too excited about that, but he signed me up for a flying lesson instead. I was scared, but I went for it! I'd NEVER do that now! I also used to dance competitively and LIVED for the thrill of competing...I even loved doing solos and making eye contact with friends in the crowd, but now dancing or singing karaoke in front of people I know gives me the shakes.

I guess as we get older, we get more involved in daily routines, which might give us great comfort at times, but also hinders our fearlessness to a degree. Have you ever felt that way?

Last week, the company did an "all hands on deck" activity on a tall ship out of San Pedro (for all of you non-Californians, that's Peedro!). I was SO EXCITED as I love being out on the water and I grew up sailing on my grandpa's boat down in Dana Point. The ship, the Exy Johnson (which I kept calling the "Sexy Johnson," then saying that was my nickname, too), is an incredible piece of workmanship. It was $4.5m to build and they operate it all year long taking underpriveledged and challenged kids out to do team-building exercizes, etc. The company jumped on the opportunity to support the organization and have some fun.

When we all had our positions down and got out to sea and through the Ports, they told us we could climb the rigging. I volunteered knowing that with a harness on, I'd be fine. Then, just before I went up, I found out that you don't harness in until you get to the top platform. I nearly fainted...but all the dudes from work were standing around waiting for me to go...I couldn't turn back now!

I climbed over the outside of the rigging and hung directly over the ocean and started to make my ascent. About halfway up, the "ladder" got more narrow and it really started to shake. I had a moment of near panic where I thought I wouldn't make it up, but I pushed through. My fingers turned white from gripping so hard, but eventually, I made my way to the top...and coming back down was just as scary.

When I finished, everyone cheered for me and I had LOADS of nervous energy...but I felt GREAT! This was a feeling I want to experience again, and one that I'll remember next time I feel scared to try something new or push the envelope...I had God on my side and I knew I was protected, however knowing I was doing something outside my comfort zone really made me feel like I'd accomplished something huge! How bout you? Do you let exciting opportunities pass you by because you're afraid of what might or could happen? Try something new this week...I think you'll find it's worth the risk!

My fav coworker and I getting ready for the day's activities.
Raising the sail.
Wait, you want me to go WHERE?
Pushing through my fear and almost there!
In spite of my newfound courage, there was NO WAY IN HELL I was gonna do THAT! My crazy coworkers are really the fearless ones!!!


E said...

How very cool! I have a real hard time conquering my fears, at least until recently, when I started realizing that I would miss out on a whole lot by continuing to allow my fears to win! Great post!!!

Mom said...

JENNIFER BETH JOHNSON, what were you thinking!! Haven't I taught you to be careful! You are so much like your father, I am proud of you for persevering!
Love, Mom

lisa said... got middle-named by your mom for that one. That's so awesome. Don't know if I would've had the guts!

Angry Julie Monday said...

LOL..I love how your mom threw out all three of your names!!!

You are crazy. I hate heights.

Ever once in awhile I will have to take photos on top of a building,etc. The Fire Department will put me in one of those cherry pickers. I absolutely hate it.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

What a great story! And how cute you are. I have always been a little bit of a daredevil too & was such a tomboy growing up. But, I've gotten a little more scaredy cat as I've aged, esp. with heights. Used to not bother me at all, but I can still climb a ladder really well. :)

Thanks for coming by!

Kelly said...

I've always wanted to go sailing. It looks so relaxing (unless you are doing the work!). Glad you had fun!