|Fear of Falling
Is it better to have had and lost than to never have had at all? I’m
not sure, but sometimes I wonder. If you’re to make anything of the
gifts you’ve been granted, if you spend your life in pursuit of
anything worthy of the miracle that is your existence on this earthly
plane, if fortune finds you in the black or beating the house, even for
a moment, you can relate.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to be more honest with myself.
Honest about who I am as a man and what I value. Beyond the façade of
the public image you build, is the man whose groggy eyes and messy hair
must be faced in the steamy mirror of each new morning. There is no
lying to that dude. He knows the deal, he knows your true identity.
This to me, is not cynicism or pessimism, but instead the beginning of
Obviously, our personal honesty and realistic world view must be
limited to some degree, this candor must be balanced by enough hope,
optimism and unbreakable self-confidence that getting out of bed each
morning is even a possibility. When I speak of my ever-improving
honesty with self, I’m referring to my frailties as a human being, the
awful truths I can’t avoid. I’m mortal, I’m flawed and I’m afraid.
It takes a certain self-assured maturity to come to grips with these
things. It takes strength to acknowledge weakness. My fears are not
mine alone, but my acceptance of these faults is unique. I do not find
myself riddled with paralyzing phobias or bouts of self-doubt, and
while I’m as susceptible to the stresses and strains of real life in
the real world just as much as any of my brethren, I refuse to let any
of that shit sidetrack me or derail the freight train that is my will.
Instead, I wrestle internally with my fears each day. Each moment that
finds me wanting more and striving for better, I grapple with the
prospects of my dreams coming to fruition and having to deal with the
aftermath of it all. I’ve come to understand the once alien concept of
people fearing their own success. I know that so often our greatest
adversary is within and the greatest obstacles we must overcome are
those that we ourselves lay in our own paths. To best oneself, this is
the greatest victory.
My whole life I’ve lived agonizing over the prospects of not making
something of myself and of never attaining my goals. To live my life
toiling in anonymity for naught, to never realize my potential and to
settle and conform myself into obscurity… That I would reach the winter
of my days and realize that it had all been a waste. To combat this
stark, deathbed revelation, I’ve come to be married to the process, to
as I’ve said before, find joy in the struggle, and I’ve illuminated for
myself a frame of mind that simply views success as a byproduct of a
life lived dedicated to a great quest.
My greatest fear, equal to that of never attaining my objectives in the
first place, is that I could one day achieve beyond my wildest
imagination only to lose it all. To live so long with such singular
objectives, channeling all of my being into a grand mission knowing
that no outcome is guaranteed? Fuck it. That is the risk the great man
must take, right? Sure it would be a shame to never get there but an
even more horrifying outcome to ponder is to have it all and in a blink
for it all to be gone, like waking up from a crazy dream. I know this
fear well on a micro level already, and my guess is you do too. There
is no reality to me scarier than the prospects of “falling off”.
Yeah, falling off… I’ve lived my entire life avoiding it at all costs.
Success, when viewed honestly only has three potential next steps, to
soar even higher, to maintain or to fall the fuck off. Falling off has
never been an option as I see it. Fuck that, I’ve worked too hard for
too fucking long to let the tiny progress I’ve made thus far just slip
away... To be rained on just as I take the reins on my reign. It is the
same in every arena, but my brothers in the iron game know this dread
as well as anyone. Week in and week out, with each passing workout and
meal, we are issued this challenge.
The challenge is to constantly get better, to consistently improve. In
spite of aches and pains, in spite of our better judgment, in spite of
the piles and piles of unforgiving weights surrounding us like dusty,
ominous, iron-ored mountains, the shadowed valley of which we must
navigate day after treacherous day. Living to tell the tale, though an
accomplishment in and of itself will simply not suffice.
To not only survive from day to day but to prosper, that is the goal.
To grow and excel in a world built to resist our progress, in a society
more pleased with our downfall than with any achievement that could
ever be ours, that is our solemn charge. It is perhaps the greatest
motivator I’ve ever known, it is the impetus for hard work and humble
toil in the face of small triumphs. This fear of falling keeps me in
check, it requires that I stay on my grind. To maintain, as I’ve found,
is the bare minimum, the bargain basement, the least I can fucking
The more you get it done, the longer you raise the bar and live to a
higher standard, the more the haters will line up. They’ll stand on the
sidelines of the marathon that is your life, yearning to see you
stumble, searching your face for signs of fatigue, timing your steps
praying for your pace to slow. So I’ve steadied my stride, I’ve
galvanized my resolve, I’ve stared straight into the roaring headwind
and forged forward. For years I’ve dedicated myself to fighting my
fear, to never falling off.
It is the imposing shadow of my own standard in which I must forever
reside, and for that I am grateful. There are too many out there to
hold me accountable, too many who depend on me to lead the way and in
that way I am truly blessed. It ensures that I’ll never focus solely on
the ascent up the steep mountainside, that I’ll never spend too much
time enjoying the view from the apex, that I’ll never take my footing
for granted for fear that like so many before me, I too will fall. G?
Fall off? Never that.
For more on the FORVM, check out "G Diesel Pays The Cost To Be Boss".