Monday, 7 August 2017

This is what fear looks and feels like

The fear is real 

So when I am learning a new aerial silk drop, I experience a wave of fear. Firstly because I am up high. You have to be high so you don't hurt yourself coming down or especially because I am afraid of heights, landing on the mat underneath is not going to make me want to do it again! So, up high I go. Again, having a real fear of heights my whole life to now hanging upside down, going to do a full body drop at least a metre fall, face down, is pretty damn scary.

 If you don't have this fear, like my friend, then its really not a big deal but for those who do... Well its hard to get there. I can even be watching my friend do the trick and feel the blood drain from my face. Most times I have to look away and take a couple of deep breaths. It sounds so silly because I know I am safe and I am wanting to do it because it looks amazing. Plus, when I do do the drop, I feel amazing. Nothing can wipe the smile off my face. But even with this knowledge the fear is real and when I am up there for the first time, my mind freezes as does my body. I freak out.

What happens when you experience fear

Its interesting though to watch fear, because your mind and body just shut down. All you can feel is the fear. I was doing the superman trick, and just before I go into a ball, you will see in the video, I have to basically be a plank, up high in the air, with my hands holding nothing. My trainer says, "Do you feel balanced, can you feel your feet touching my hands?" Me, "my feet are numb." (In my freaking out voice).

Find a good trainer who knows how to deal with your fears

My trainer knows my fear and its good on some level because he also had the same fear when he first started out. I go down into the position you see in the video (link below), ready to do the drop for the first time. My hands hold the silk. "No, I can't do this." I start to climb up. My trainer helps me back into position. My brain and body freezes. All I am thinking about is once I tuck my legs into my body, I will drop. My trainer is saying, "bend your knees." Nothing, I can't move. "Just bend your knees." I shut my eyes as I know I am going to do this either way. Finally my legs push through and I do it for the first time. Relief. My trainer shows me the rest of the trick and I come down with a big smile on my face.

The after effects of experiencing fear

 Afterwards, my feet were washed with sweat, my heart was pounding, my body was shaking but I felt on top of the world. When I dropped it wasn't scary, it was just the lead up that was terrifying. That weekend, with only my friend and me, I tried it again. I dropped, all by myself and I felt pretty damn amazing. For me, its the unexpected and its dealing with the fear of heights that is the hardest challenge to get past but I do get past it every week, it might be a slower way of learning but each time I get that bit better. It's important to face your fears, I do recommend you do it in a structured environment with an instructor who can spot you and help coach you through the fear. Don't let fear win, keep pushing through anyway.

This is what fear looks like, when someone is experiencing it:

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