Turning Fear into Fearlessness


Remember the roadrunner and coyote cartoons growing up? If you don’t, you should totally watch it. Well the roadrunner described me when it came time for someone to try and hug me (except that the roadrunner was just having fun, I was not). I was outta there! BeepBeep! Leaving them trying to grab a cloud of smoke.

Ok maybe that was not always me. At first I was like a large lead weight strapped to my mom (I’m sure she really enjoyed having help with exercising one leg ). Then with the blink of an eye, I became the roadrunner and off I went dodging the traps of a hug from an unsuspecting coyote.

While my fear of human contact was not nearly as bad as Sheldon’s (the character from The Big Bang Theory), the hug was a bit to much for me. My heart raced, face turned red and felt like it was on fire and I panicked, or I just tried to laugh it off like it was nothing.

The idea of getting close enough to hug someone was slightly repulsive to me. I had no desire to know if they had not taken a shower that day by their smell or if they had recently been sweating.  I also had this feeling of “I’m independent and don’t need anyone”, if I had let someone in for a hug, I was showing emotion and that would mean that I did need someone. It seems silly now, but then the idea of someone knowing that much about me was scary (not to mention possible odor or sweat, ew).

As a result, anyone who came at me for a hug found themselves hugging my outstretched hand shake or that cloud of smoke I had left behind, just like the roadrunner, leaving coyote without his prize. They probably had the same perplexed look on their face as they waved their arms in the air trying to casually regain enough balance to shake my outstretched hand.

I thought I had gotten over this for the most part. I’ve gone to the chiropractor what seems like a million times, hugged many new people and old friends, and figured any fear of human contact was in the past.

Boy was I wrong! I found myself in a very crowded Power Vinyasa class on New Years Eve day. There were more people in that room than I have ever seen or ever thought could fit in there. Every few minutes one of the assistants would walk through and ask people to move together to allow another mat to come in. And just when you thought it was full, another  would walk in looking for a spot. By the time class started mats were only a few inches away from either side of mine.

In case you are wondering, that much space in between mats means that when you go into a wide legged forward fold you must all dip and swerve in order to not smash your face into someones butt… It also makes a foot flying at your facing during chatarunga much more likely from the person on the mat in front of yours. Talk about some human contact. While sitting there waiting for class to begin, I thought about getting up and just waiting for the next class to start, it would only be a couple hours. But I stayed there in that crowded room, watching for feet and trying every maneuver to avoid smashing into anyone, I breathed deep and I made it through class just fine. It was actually a really great class. There were quite a few laughs from the teacher’s jokes as she commented on the tight space and the dips and swerving motions.

As I get started with teacher training (in only 20 days), I realize that this is will a big obstacle to overcome. I’ll be working literally hands on with people during a sweating Vinyasa class. Not only will I have to be in contact with them, I will be in contact with their sweat. I wont be able to run away from someone needing an adjustment to their down dog or a release of shoulders in shavasana.

I’ll just keep reminding myself of that crowded class and take a deep breath when needed. Before I know it, training will be complete and any fear will be a thing of the past. (I hope)


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