It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself. ~ Muhammad Ali
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
At times fear controls me. It paralyzes me. It numbs me. Yet it also prepares me and motivates me.
Since October of last year, I have become involved in CrossFit. Which some have refer to as a cult. I am there 3-6x a week. The routine of looking at a workout and not believing that it is possible for me to finish it, rationalizing perhaps doing it at a lower weight or just not doing it at all-has become my life. But the moment the countdown start…3,2, 1 GO!!! I forget my fear and I just do it. Somehow it gets done. Not always the fastest or the prettiest but I do it. I don’t particularly enjoy working out but I love that every time I perform a Crossfit workout I am challenged and the feeling of accomplishment after is the reason I come back. Hard work pays off. I won my first CrossFit competition in January. It was just the “beginners” category. It was just December that I was hesitant to even try because I was not feeling like I was good enough.
This past semester was my comprehensive exams for my doctoral program. Again fear dominated my preparation. Not feeling smart enough or theoretical enough. Wishing I read more and understood more. During the take-home exam part there were way too many days that I was just too overwhelmed to write. Somehow I pulled it together with the editing help and support of friends and finished. On the day of my oral defense I was informed that one aspect of my comprehensive exam (one of the onsite questions) was lacking and needed to be rewritten. That did not come as a surprise because when I initially read the question I knew I was in world of trouble. I left the oral defense to take my Spanish language competency exam. Another test I wasn’t really prepared for. They gave me two weeks to rewrite the comp question I think I gave it to them a month and a half later.
Somehow I figured out how to write intelligently about “performativity” to a point where I actually felt I understood the concept. I passed my comprehensive exam. Apparently I also know how to read and translate Spanish enough to pass my language exam. The paper I wrote for my take-home exam I later reworked to enter into the Black Theatre Network Young Scholar’s competition. I came in 1st place. I had never a competition for my writing before. Writing in academia has been something I have struggled greatly with. I have been getting an incredible amount of support over the last several months on my scholarship.
Each time I am challenged and I rise to that challenge- the fear disappears just a little bit more. Physically I am stronger and my scholarship is tighter.
Yet that fear of failure or not being good enough still creeps in. I am currently in the last phase of this PhD program. The part where I my success and failure is pretty much up to me. No more classes. It’s time to write. Getting started and staying motivated has been a major battle for me this summer. I have set an incredibly ambitious goal for myself- to finish by Spring 2013. Graduate in 3 years. Breaking down what needs to accomplish in order to accomplish this goal is overwhelming and daunting. Shit, a dissertation is a lot of WRITING and REWRITING!!!!
I am in the practice of remembering the challenges and obstacles that I have overcame and the goals that I have reached in order to motivate me and push me towards my goals.
One of the things about CrossFit that I love is that I am never doing it alone. Even when others have finished the work out they stay and they encouraged me to finish. Quitting is not really an option when you have others cheering for you. Making sure you are not taking shortcuts. Making sure you are doing your best.
So that’s where my friends and family comes in. I need some support and cheering to reach my next goal. Shout out to birthday girl Tasha for calling me out on Facebook. Ya’ll got me?
Videos with me doing CrossFit and Academic stuff..can you spot me?
Happy Birthday to my loves Ojay and Tasha.