We all fear.
For millions of years, fear has been a survival mechanism for humans; most of us have probably studied about this at school at some point. But there’s another side to the coin that we are not being taught: humans are wired to be brave. Strength, courage, and persistence are innate of our beings.
While in some situations fear help us survive, it can also keep us from living the life we've imagined. Sometimes the best thing for you, might be on the other side of fear. Here’s my favorite definition of courage: “Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s acting in spite of it”.
So the moment I decided to put my cleats and gloves back on, there I was once again, fighting the fears, the doubts, the uncertainties and choosing to let courage be my guide. I had one very defined goal in mind: do everything I possibly could to make the 2016 Olympics.
When the goal was set and the decision to go back home was made, I wasn’t sure if that was the right time to make that move. I didn’t even have a plan of how I was going to get where I wanted to be. But in my 27 years of life, I’ve come to understand (both from experience and from observing) that time is never perfect. If we wait until we feel ready, wait until the time is “right”, that time may never come. When we believe and decide on something, any time is right! Overthinking most often holds you back, paralyzes you in the face of choosing to step out of your comfort zone.
I can honestly tell you that the best decisions in my life came from a risk I decided to take. Many of my blessings started to take form from an initial leap of faith. Life is unpredictable. Not seldom, we find out that even the safest roads, the planned paths, can and will surprise us, many times imposing adversities we didn’t foreseen. So if life’s unpredictability is inevitable, we might as well chose the path that speaks to our hearts.
The decisions I made when I was able to quiet the mind and start listening to my intuition changed my life - for the better. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of them, but walking side by side with my fear was an inexplicable certainty that everything would somehow fall into place. I can truly say that this courage and certainty comes from the firm belief that risks and decisions are worth it as long as they are aligned with our values, principles and purpose in life.
Doing things with good intentions and making decisions without compromising my values aren't the only things that bring me security to step into the unknown. Knowing that I have a family who supports me and a mother who always encourages me to follow my dreams is the most comforting thing in the world. The certainty that I will still be loved even if I fail, gives me incredible strength and motivation to strive for better things.
So let’s teach our children about wings and roots. Imagine if every child grew up understanding that they will have wings to fly in search of their purpose and dreams, yet having the certainty that their roots will always be there to comfort and love them even in the face of failure.
My faith and my loved ones are the foundation of my courage, strength and motivation. The first and every single step of my “Road to Rio” has been filled with the certainty that at the end, this journey will be worth it and that I will be loved and supported by my loved ones, regardless of the outcome.