The power of fear

A long absence, I know. Even after I came up with the idea for this post, I still dilly-dallied.

This isn’t supposed to be a blog about roller derby, so this post will be about doing scary things, using roller derby as an example.

I have officially worked here for more than a year, and I wrote loads of stories in high school and college, but I still get nervous anytime I have to interview someone. It almost always ends up going perfectly fine with no problems, but I still get a little freaked out, especially if I have to ask a potentially controversial question or (the horror) cold-call someone. What if I say something wrong? What if they don’t want to talk to me and then I have no story? I should be over this by now, but I’m still caught up in expecting the worst.

Skip to practice on Sunday. We were scrimmaging, and to make a long story short, one of our vets broke her leg jamming. A tib/fib spiral fracture might not mean much to non-medical people (or people who had never broken anything; I had to look it up), but her foot was sideways.

Fast-forward 18 hours, and she’s at the library with me giving a presentation about derby. Of course, she was sitting and had her bum foot up on a chair, but she was acting like nothing ever happened. I had gone to visit her earlier in the day on my way back from Staples, and between chatting then and on the ride to/from the library, we talked about all her other injuries over her career, but aside from the splinty wrappy pre-surgery thing on her leg, you would have never known.

Her reasoning? Accidents happen. In derby, it’s not so much a thing of if you get injured, it’s when, and fearing it or dwelling on it isn’t going to help any. She said she does have a high pain tolerance from being kicked by horses on a regular basis, and she’ll be out for a while, but she isn’t going to let the injury keep her down emotionally. She could’ve screamed her head off when her foot went sideways (not going to lie, I probably would have), but that would’ve made helping her a lot harder and we would’ve been a lot more freaked out. She could be sitting at home doing nothing all day, or even called it quits entirely, but instead, she’s involved as much as we’ll let her, and I know she’ll be back as soon as she’s cleared. (She asked the ER doctor if she could get a note so she could skate at yesterday’s practice; he wasn’t amused.)

So if someone who has been playing a sport for almost 4 years can break her leg while playing said sport and not be afraid to come back when she’s healthy, what excuse do I have to be afraid of calling someone?

When I played softball in high school, we had sweatshirts one year that had a quote from Cinderella Story that said “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” A more fitting one now might be “Never let the fear of breaking your leg keep you from playing the game,” but either way, if a sports metaphor can be used for relationship advice, it can work for work advice.


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