The D&L Blog

Delaware & Lehigh - FEAR: Taming Our Mental Bully (and walking the D&L Half Marathon)

D&L Comment: On the fence about walking 13.1 miles? You can do it! Read how Luann Cahn – author, wife, mother, blogger and cancer survivor – tamed her inner bully and walked the D&L Heritage Half Marathon in 2014. 

Guest post by Luann Cahn from her personal blog, November 7, 2014

I’ve been thinking about FEAR lately. It comes up in almost every discussion about daring yourself to try something for the FIRST TIME. There are legitimate fears. Jumping out of a plane? Absolutely. But that’s different.

I dare meI’m talking about the kind of mental FEAR that bullies us, makes us cower, makes us think we are “less than” or not capable, or not worthy; the kind of fear that stands in our way of achieving our life dreams. . . because our inner bully doesn’t want us to threaten the status quo even if we are miserable.

I was actually a little fearful about walking 13 miles last week. In the big scheme of life, it’s not a huge crazy challenge. But still, I’d never walked 13 miles, fast, in the cold, wind whipping and pushing against you.

I noted my little mental bully saying “you won’t make it, it will be too hard on your body, you’ll disappoint yourself and your team . . . etc.” I noted all of it and then mentally put my fear bully in the corner and said “SIT and STAY THERE”.

I made a conscious decision to enjoy the journey, my walking friends, conversation and embrace the small risk for the potential gain of a new experience pushing myself beyond my daily routine.

walkersNo joke . . . at mile 10 I wanted to quit. I really did. My body was aching and my hands were cold. But my teammates’ spirit and energy inspired me to get through those last miles. This picture is of us coming up on the finish line. . . feet hurting, hands frozen, noses running but feeling absolutely charged and accomplished!

Immediately. . . we started talking about “What will we do NEXT?”

You might say, what does this kind of challenge have to do with taking a major risk with your career, making a big life change, getting past fears that keep you from doing something important you want to achieve in your life? EVERYTHING.

Practicing taking risks large and small gives us the confidence to look our FEAR BULLY in the face and say SHOO. . . get out of here. Anything that makes us feel braver or stronger gives us the mental muscle to put fear in its place and out of your way. 

Author Elizabeth Gilbert recently said “Fear is the most boring thing about us. . . ” She said we all have it but if we act like it’s precious and should be catered to it starts to define us and prevent us from living the life we want. Amen, sister!

Fear is the bully we create to keep ourselves in place. . . we don’t have to be brave or challenge ourselves if Fear is in charge.

I Dare ME and I Dare YOU. . . tell your fear bully you aren’t listening any more. You’re going rogue. You’re going down the path you want and you’ll meet your best self there. 

D&L Comment: We hope you’ll put your fear bully in the corner and join us for the D&L Heritage Half Marathon Run/Walk on November 1 to support the completion of the 165-Mile D&L Trail from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol. Register to take a risk at before the October 25, 2015 deadline. And we reversed the course this year to go down river, slightly downhill and hopefully down wind!