Fear Itself

“Fear is a force that sharpens your senses. Being afraid is a state of paralysis in which you can’t do nothing.”
Marcus Luttrell

I’ve had friends that were afraid, or feared failure. Failure in business, failure at CrossFit, failure of not losing weight or not hitting a new PR. Everyone knows the feeling of fear.

Fear sucks but can be dealt with. The common denominator is you.
Is your strength greater than your fear?

On an early Saturday morning, laying on the gym floor I was holding a 35lb kettlebell in the bottoms up (heavy end up) position when fear itself crept up on me.

35lbs of cast iron is more than enough weight to seriously hurt me if things go bad.

The wrist and shoulders are not very forgiving joints, and I’m not that young.

I’ve been refining my get up technique in preparation for an upcoming StrongFirst certification. A shoulder injury could be a serious setback.

I am thankful that my view of lifting techniques parallel my view of martial art techniques and that I consider every small movement an exercise of its own.

I’ve performed the get up, the half get up and the quarter get up with heavier loads, yet nearly every day I also practice the movement while balancing a shoe atop my fist.

The bottoms up get up is a different animal. It requires the lifters technique to be even more precise and coordinated throughout a range of movements and get ups challenge the stability and mobility of every joint in the human body.

35 lbs shouldn’t feel this heavy.
35 lbs is something I normally don’t fear.

Yet looking up at the gyms ceiling I keep thinking that kettlebell looks more like a wrecking ball.


It’s said that we all have two dogs living inside of us; A dog named Fear and a dog named Strength. They walk with us for all our days and constantly fight each other.

The dog that gets more food and attention takes the dominant role, while the neglected dog becomes weaker and smaller.

I had been feeding the wrong dog.

It would be easy to substitute the lift for a standard get up.
It would have easy to grab the 24lb kettlebell, even easier to grab the 18lb one.
It would have been really easy to scrap the whole idea and get off the damn floor.

My objective, my sole focus is to get to the elbow position. That position defines my success today.

I just need to move from my back to sitting upright on my left elbow. I’ve done this a lot lately.

My right arm is the sword and the kettlebell the sword tip.
The ceiling is my target.

I am the weapon and I refuse
to be afraid.

Breathe-Focus-Push-Get There

Take the damn elbow position.
Now take the upright position.
Now take the high plank position.
Now return to the ground…and smile.


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