I remember having tea with Sarah at Starbucks a long time ago and talking about some silly fear I was experiencing with my boys. I asked her how she coped with stress of every day situations. She told me when she started swimming competitively she would get almost physically ill before she competed. She said she started telling herself that whatever is going to happen has already been decided so it was unnecessary to make herself worried sick about it. I think about that conversation a lot. I think about all my fears and thinking of Sarah really puts those things in perspective. She faced the worst possible fear any of us could probably face......every single day. On top of that, she felt physically ill most of the time. Every day, she got up and she faced that fear with the same resolve. She didn't let it paralyze her, grab perfect strangers, yell out (although all those reactions would have been completely acceptable as far as I'm concerned).
I certainly haven't stopped having all those fears, but I think about the level of courage it must have taken Sarah to face the worst possible outcome day in and day out, all the while feeling far from top shape. I can get in a plane, swim in the ocean, take risks with my children, plan the F.A.B. 5k with my wonderful friends. The outcome has already been decided. I might as well relax and enjoy the ride (or the surf).
So....if this your first race (walking or running), do NOT be afraid. You are doing something wonderful to honor people like Sarah who face our worst fears every single day. It's three miles, one morning, one race entry fee, a few hours out of your schedule. This is easy.
"She was just one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith. Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape". -- Eric Bibb, The Cape