As you may already be aware, we're running an awesome Bloodborne competition about 'facing your fears'. What are you afraid of? What scares you the most? We're giving one lucky reader the chance to overcome that fear and we're giving away a couple of PlayStation 4s in the process. There's still plenty of time to enter, but I thought it might be fun to go through some of my favourite entries so far...
But first, a disclaimer. I haven't gone through all the entries yet. There are so many and it's a pretty intimidating task! These are just a couple that stood out to me during a very quick read through. Really what I'm trying to do here is remind you about the competition and inspire you to greatness!
The competition is all about entrants naming their fear. Our plan is to record and edit a really cool video of the winning entrant facing that fear. We're looking for something creative and something that is actually possible. You can find out more details at the competition post itself, which you can check out here.
With all that being said, here are a few of my favourites so far.
My fear, my truest fear, was never doing anything in my life of any worth. Of never amounting to anything. Of never being of any impact on anyones life. Of my son growing up and saying, when I pass 'Yeah, he was my Dad, but he was noone special.' My fear, is to be forgotten with time by the ones I love like so many before me and so many after me will be. I don't need to be remembered as a statue, I don't need to be remembered in song, I just need to be remembered in the minds of those who love me, but at a certain point in my life, I was noone, I was a bad father, I had done nothing and my fear was as alive as it had ever been.
So I sought to conquer that fear and destroy it.
I looked at my fitness as a start, something I've always battled, I didn't want to die by 40, I was obese. I was overweight, so I took control of my epilepsy medication, no longer letting it control me. I got off it and onto a different kind. I got energy back, slowly. I was sick for around 3 months. I was on the toilet regularly, I was barely eating. I went down from 150 to 130 just being sick all the time. If I wasn't vomiting I was on the loo going out the other end. That was me, for three months. It was a nightmare. In that time, I was at Tafe full time as well, trying to take control of my mind. Trying to learn something.
After three months, I finally felt better, no longer a trainwreck. I suddenly had energy, so I started at a karate club. I was fitter, it was gruelling to begin with but it worked for me. I was dropping weight. My fear of being dead by 40 pushed that age back to 50. I wanted it to go further. So I pushed myself. By mid 2010 I was down to 120 kilos. I started fighting in tournaments. I won a few rounds, came 3rd, 2nd but never first. That didn't matter. I had my eye on the end of the year, I wanted to go to Sydney, to compete in the Nationals, the NAS National All Styles in Sydney. I trained my ass off, suddenly I was getting a LOT fitter. My fears were pushed right back, I was where I wanted to be, my weight dropped right off. I was 110 and feeling awesome. Pilates 4 times a week, training twice. I wasn't working but I was getting myself back into shape.
December came around, I was now working full time for a private school in IT, but I travelled to Sydney. My fears kicked in again. I had to fight infront of thousands of people. Thousands. Out on a mat, I fought in continuous fighting, I got beaten, infront of thousands, but the fear was gone. I did it. I conquered it. I came back the next day hungrier than anyone in that damn place to succeed... why? My girlfriend rang me at 7am that day, told me she was leaving me (no shit), told me were done.
I walked in furious. I had point sparring to go. I tore through every opponent like a hot knife through butter, my fear was replaced with rage. I got through everyone, 5 competitors, only to face off against a great friend from ATA Tae Kwon Do. My rage subsided. We faced off, two friends, I didn't care if I won. I'd done it. From nothing, to national champion in one year. When it finished, 8 points to 11, he won. But I was now 2nd best in Australia in my division. I almost burst into tears at conquering everything I had that year.
Skip forward a year and a half. That gf and I had gotten back together only to split. I still feared not making my mark on the world in any noteable way. I feared not being good enough for my son. So I enrolled in the APT course at MSIT at Yeeronga. I cruised through my Year 12, when I was IN year 12, I got an OP of 25. After 9 months of attending every single week without fail, I walked out with an OP of 2. I was heading to Uni.
I don't need to tell you, at 35 years of age, the prospect of Uni didn't just inspire fear? It filled me with TERROR.
But I've done it. I sit here, in my third year, my Bachelor of Education. I'm heading into being an English and History teacher. I'm damn good too. Because every fear I have, I seek to conquer and kill, and I bloody well tell my students the same. Every year, I tell my prac students, FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. This is something my Shihan told me, because when you put your mind to it, there's nothing you can't conquer.
Just an ammendment. I started having chest pains around December last year, I feared the worst being 37. I was worried it was the end for me, I had gotten huge. It mortified me I could leave this earth. Since I'd started Uni I'd gotten complacent, my training had dropped off and I'd gotten slack, putting weight back on. So I needed to face it. I hauled my ass to the doctors, I let him berate me for letting myself get this way (I needed to hear it, and he's a friend) and I dedicated myself to getting better. So, I started changing my eating patterns. Soon after, I started walking. Since mid January, I've dropped around a fair bit, I want to keep that to myself but it's a decent bit of weight (I've learnt the mistake of putting numbers out there, what it can do to demotivate me). Here's a pic of my progress:
Also note how the jolly fat man gets unhappier as he's losing weight :P lol And yeah, I know I'm ugly :P
But seriously, I conquered that fear, through instilling the fear of leaving this earth, leaving my son and not being around to see him grow up. Seeing all the events in his life. Potentially a little selfish maybe, but I want to be there for him.
Right now, my mentors are proud of me, my parents, my instructor, my friends and everyone is proud of me... but most importantly, my son is proud of me. I'll keep going and doing my best.
Because what I truly fear, is letting him down, and I can't ever do it, because the day I truly do that, it's all over. It ain't funny, but it's true.
Sooo... Being the little miscreant I was in my early youth.
My brother and I thought it was a brilliant idea to hide inside a coffin while our parents were sorting out a coffin for our deceased grandfather.
As we laid inside the coffin giggling like a bunch of twats, waiting to scare any passer-by who would dare approach the coffin.
Little did we know, like the little miscreants we were. That the coffin we went in could only be opened from the outside and we thought we were doomed to be buried alive inside the coffin in a graveyard (How'd that happen from a coffin in a shop eludes me now but...). But as a child, your imagination runs wild (It doesn't help when you watch MA15+ horror movies but hey, I'm sure we all didn't give a damn about rules back then).
Though out parents were incredibly furious when they found us (More about us damaging property than our well-being.), we were gloriously saved by the shopkeeper opening up the casket. He was like Asian Jesus with a basket of puppies and kittens.
Till this day. Whenever I see coffins... Oh wait, I avoid those areas like the plague.
I have the strangest fear which is really embarrassing, so much so that few people (luckily) know it. My greatest fear is snails. I don't know what it is about them but the thought of making contact with a snail makes my body tense up. I hate going to the mailbox, because on a few occasions I have picked up a letter, turned it over, only to find a snail about a millimeter away from my finger. It isn't really inhibiting my way of living, but I fear one day one of my mates will learn of my fear and continue to fuck with me for the foreseeable future.
I'm not really too sure what started my fear of snails, but back when I was very young, I lived in a house that had an outhouse. I remember the backyard crawling with the monsters and being too scared to use the toilet. More recently I read the manga 'Uzumaki' which had some people turn into snails. The notion of this still haunts me today, and every time I see a snail in the backyard or mailbox, I am reminded of the manga and am almost paralyzed with fear.
In order to overcome the fear I think I would have to make some intentional contact with snails, but really... I'd be happy to settle for second place.
Alex Without His Pants
I am incredibly terrified of performing or putting myself out there - doing speeches, on stage, on camera. I don't know how it started because I was a very outgoing kid, but I started clamming up in my teen years something awful. Even after about a hundred eps on a podcast I still tense up when the recording starts. You might remember that quiz episode we had you on, Mr Marky Mark, where I threw up in my mouth a little bit right before I launched into the opening remarks, and where my legs quivered like delicious jelly even though nobody could actually see me.
I am even terrified of people reading that. I want to overcome this performance anxiety because being that uncomfortable even around your close friends is a terrible thing. And on a wider scale, being able to stand up and represent yourself is a very important step in just embracing and being comfortable with who you are.
So that's just some of my favourites so far. Don't forget to head to the competition post and enter yourself!