Out of Fear

Andrew - Williamsburg, Michigan
Entered on June 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

The usual bus ride to practice was accompanied by the usual routine of stretches. I did the usual routine by drinking about a liter of a sports drink and water mix. Practice moved at its normal pace always slowing down at some point because of mistakes. A humid day for a football practice was coming to a close. The end of practice had arrived and I, a team captain, was in the center of the circle formed for final stretches. We got to the third or fourth stretch when I awoke on the ground. I had no grasp of the current situation and I started to fade from reality until a doctor started asking me questions. He told me I had fainted because of a severe case of dehydration. I spent the next few hours with my whole lower body cramping along with a massive headache. The ambulance ride over to the hospital was a long one and I started pondering things that I never had really given thought to.

After my near death experience, I would wait in the locker room thinking, knowing, accepting that this could be my last game. The thought was always gnawing at the back of my mind that this could be a capricious game, and I walked on the field accepting that. I knew at that moment that I no longer was invincible or eternal. There was an end approaching to this mortal experience, and I did not know when that time would arrive. I went out of that tunnel with a fear that I had never felt before. I truly was scared that this road might come to a dead end.

I believe that out of fear I reached my highest potential. This fear is like the anxiety I feel on a roller coaster. I savor every moment fearing that it will not end because the experience is worthwhile. Football is one of the savory moments that I feared would come to an end so I literally spent every ounce of my energy trying to keep the inevitable from approaching. Fear is what drives me to do the unthinkable, the indescribable, and the inconceivable. I live my life in fear of taking a test that I might fail, going to college and adjusting to a new environment, leaving my family for lengthy periods of time, applying for a job that I know I may not receive, or by playing sports and the possibility of losing. I embrace my fears and they help me to become a wholesome person. Naturally I am afraid of change, but through this fear I am able to adjust very smoothly to the change allowing me to become a better person. Because I am vulnerable now, conquering these fears would test my vulnerability allowing me to experience the feeling of invincibility once again. I believe that with the fear and the strength to overcome it I will have the potential to conquer any obstacle. Out of fear, I walked out on that field with confidence and the determination to win with each and every breath that I had in me.