Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Fear Topic: Fear of Getting Better

The Fear Topic
The Fear of Getting Better

It has been quite a whil since I wrote a post on my blog. I had a bit of cold last week that put me down for about a week. Then at the same time our area was blanketed with a massive Red Tide phenomenon. As I wrote here before I am very sensitive to the Red Tide situation, and when I go in the water, I am sure to get some nasty sinus problem that can last for a few months. So these days I have been very cautious and I have not had an incident for over a year now.

Another reason why I do not write often is that I should write something when I can really write about something so it would be both worthwhile for me to write and for you to read.

I was surfing at Montara yesterday in late morning and there was one other good surfer out there. He was catching waves significantly more than I did. I was thinking about what the difference between him and me, and I came to the conclusion that another "Fear" is part of the issue.

Let me explain why.

Over the years I have been able to handle pretty fearful conditions (I am still talking about relative to myself.) But going to Montara was one of the biggest fears that I had to work on. The waves does pack more energy. It is a beach that we usually lose a few people every year. It did happen this late spring too. I had a surfing accident there that resulted in 5-stitches and where nearly missed the siatic vein. I overcame the fear when I got more used to handle the waves... getting in and out of massive shore breaks, duck diving through to get to the outside etc.

You've probably read about my fear of ocean currents. The current is usually very strong around here even at the Jetty. I paddle out and I usually end up at a totally the different spot from where I intended and during the session I often notice drifting fast. The most fearful time is though when I get caught in the rip and I start to move further away from the shore. That have been very terrifying. I ended up overcoming this fear through one of the most fearful incidents. My leash snapped quite far out in one of the bigger spots near the "radar" As it turned out I was able to swim back to the shore. You've read about that also.

Catching faster waves, pearling, held over etc. I am managing those too. When the condition is right I can catch shapes and sizes of the waves the other good people are catching.

So these days I have gotten sufficient technical skills and body strengths that I can handle the situations where most "regular local" surfers handle. The level of the fear in these areas are now significantly less in my mind.

But still I am not surfing as well as those locals.

And that's this post is all about.

From Friday's session I now came to the conclusion that I am now afraid of surfing as good as others. I am afraid of being "successful" at something even though I have all the confidence and skills to do that. If I am forced, I will go further out, go to the peak and catch the waves more aggressively. As this Friday, there was nobody else really out so I don't even have to be so aggro about getting waves. I just have to make myself do it.

I am not quite sure that why I am stuck with this type of fear, but then I was thinking more about it, a lot of people have this type of fear in many other aspects of daily life.

Things like "slump" or "writers block" got a lot to do with this. May be this is something about "Self Esteem" issue. And that's probably true. Deep inside I have been keep telling myself, "I am not a good athlete. These good surfers have been in sport team when they are in high school..."

So I my next project to join the rank of "Local Good Surfers."

Whatever you are working on, perhaps, you may be stuck in similar kind of fear.

I am going to work on it now, and you should and you can too!