Any 90s kid knows the television show Are you Afraid of the Dark, and they probably were just as obsessed with it as my brothers and I were. I remember half watching it while peeking from behind a blanket. I bet if I watched an episode today I’d laugh at how ridiculous it is, actually, scratch that, I’m a wuss, I’d probably still be scared.
I get scared very easily. I blame my brothers. I know, I know, it seems like I blame them for a lot of things, but they had a lot of influence on the person I am today, for good and bad.
Let’s go through a brief recap of how my brothers scared me throughout my childhood.
First, I have a irrational but extreme fear of frogs. It’s ridiculous, I know it is, but I am terrified of them. Boys love frogs. They pick them up, poke at them, watch them and I run away screaming and crying.
My brothers found this fear of frogs to be both humorous and a fun new hobby for them. One vivid memory I have was sitting around the kitchen table with my family at lunch, biting into my sandwich, to find a frog staring back at me! Granted it was plastic, but I still haven’t fully forgiven them.
Second, in one of the houses we grew up in, we had a closet at the top of the staircase. Time and time again one of my brothers would jump out of the closet at me as I was walking up the stairs. Looking back now I don’t see how I never went flying down the stairs I jumped and screamed. To this day I startle pretty easily.
Fast forward 13 years, am I still a scaredy cat?
Yes. I don’t do haunted houses, scary movies, and frogs still terrify me.
I also get scared when running. While I am blasting music during my runs, I try to stay aware of my surroundings, but things still tend to surprise me from time to time.
Last week I went for a little three mile jog on the track outside of my gym. It’s close to a mile/lap and I was on my second lap as the sun was beginning to set. As I was trying to stay alert when all of the sudden I heard some rustling in the bushes next to me. I jumped and made a quick “Yelp!” sound before I realized that it was two bunnies hopping around.
Bunnies, I’m afraid of bunnies.
Today my running group did 9 miles. I was completely afraid of this run. But I faced my fears and showed up at 8a ready to run.
It was a tough run today, it was cold and cloudy with some random Tennessee March snow.
There was one moment when I heard a dog bark and run toward me that made me jump a little bit. I turned around to see a black lab sprinting at me. I stopped, stood tall, and prayed he was friendly and on an invisible fence. Lucky for me he stopped and watched me slowly back away.
The other moment that terrified me during this run was a long stretch during one of the last miles of the run. It was one of those long hills, where it seems the elevation incline grows step by step and it felt like I’d never reach the top. I really let my mind get the best of me on this one and walked majority of it.
I’m proud of myself for getting out there today, despite the cold and fears. It was a pretty good run and another step closer to Half Marathon April.