I remember when I was a kid every March/April the Wizard of Oz would show on TV. I know I am aging myself, but that was back in the day when it was a BIG deal to show it on TV--it was like the Wizard of Oz was a rite of passage to springtime. I often questioned whether this had to do with the tornado in the movie as springtime in tornado alley is prime time to hunker down.
A few things always scared me about the movie--the flying monkeys and the Wicked With to name a few, but I was really afraid of the Cowardly Lion. The Scarecrow well he was just goofy and the Tin Man seemed so genuine, even though he lacked a heart, but the Cowardly Lion, well, he was one character I think, even back in the day, I related to.
I was never one to be adventuresome. There was something about playing life safe. I did not care (and still don't) for roller coasters or heights, but I was also afraid to change directions once I chose a path to take, even if I knew I was on the wrong path. At least I knew it was taking me somewhere. It was giving me direction.
When I started running my life began to evolve. I started taking risks. I started putting myself out there. I started to live life as the adventure it is meant to be. I quit worrying about what other people thought of me, even if they didn't/don't get my sometime off-the-cuff humor.
If you knew me 10 years ago you probably would not have noticed me. I always sat in the back of the room. When I was a volunteer I always allowed others to tell me what to do instead of me taking the initiative. I did not want to hurt other people's feelings (what many experts allude to as a PEOPLE PLEASER) so I became comfortable in staying safe.
Today I took the American Council on Exercise Personal Trainer Exam. I had bought the material a couple of years ago and dabbled with the material from time to time. I would study it and put it down when some of the concepts became a little overwhelming, even for me having a degree in nursing. Well, last winter I vowed that 2013 would be the year. I gave myself 4 months to fully prepare--it was tough--as someone who has not taken a test in almost 30 years (my Nursing Boards were my last 'real' test), I was terrified. But I was committed to putting my fears aside.
I arrived at the testing center feeling confident and fully prepared. That was until I read the VERY first question. I told myself that's OK, flag the question and move on. The next one I did not know--then the next, then the next. In the first 15 questions I had flagged 12 of them. I was beginning to feel like a failure and I still had over 135 questions to go. I took a DEEP breath and began to answer the questions I knew for sure were correct. I then went back and looked at all the questions I flagged and it seemed like the answers appeared out of nowhere.
I looked through all my answers (all 150 of them)--I still had almost 40 minutes to go. I debated about looking over them yet again, but I talked myself out of it--I either was ready or I wasn't. I clicked the Submit Exam button and dang it, if the test didn't prompt me, "Are you sure you are ready?" Oh my, am I, was I--I clicked yes--typed in the words "I understand". I had to fill out a brief survey before I could get my results--my heart was pounding as if I had just run a marathon--I literally thought I would pass out. The minute I answered the last question in the survey, the "YOU PASSED" all in caps appeared on the screen. I kid you not, I literally thought I was going to pass out yet again. I was then instructed to print my results, which the proctor gave me. I literally was crying all the way to my car. There was such a sense of relief to have this behind me, but more a sense of ACCOMPLISHMENT that I did not let FEAR win and keep me from fulfilling a dream!