Be fearless

23:48 Leila Gunn 0 Comments

This year my family thought we'd do something a little different for Father's day, so we decided to go to Arena Essex Raceway to watch the Banger Racing. For those of you who haven't heard of Banger Racing before, it's a motorsport which I would describe as a grown man's version of bumper cars. It basically involves driving scrap cars around a track at high-speed and regularly smashing into others. I admit that I may have over-generalised slightly - there are rules in Banger Racing, it's just that nobody really understands them. Nevertheless, it's a brilliant event which is suitable for the whole family to watch. The excitement of watching cars spin, crash and set on fire never quite wears thin...

I hadn't planned to write a post about our trip to Arena Essex, but watching the Demolition Derby event earlier today really got me thinking. This event features drivers trying to completely destroy their competitors, crashing into the opposition in order to immobilise them, so that the last vehicle standing (or running) wins. Even the drivers who had to evacuate their flaming vehicles emerged with grins on their faces and looked like they were having the time of their lives, yet I found myself questioning why they'd want to take part in the first place. To me, although I enjoy watching Banger Racing, the thought of doing it myself is terrifying. Why would you want to take part in an activity where it is almost certain that you will suffer some kind of physical injury? I then thought about this a little more and realised how hypocritical I was being... I ride horses - unpredictable animals which weigh over 400kg and could easily kill me if I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but why doesn't that scare me?

When you're doing something you love, you don't think about the risks and dangers, because you're so immersed in that activity that it almost becomes second nature. I would never compete in Banger Racing, because the thought of getting hurt overrides any desire I have to race. Similarly, I would never jump out of a plane, because my fear of falling overrides my desire to view the Earth from the clouds. Fear prevents me from doing some of the activities which a large number of people have on their bucket lists, which I hate. Sometimes I wish I was a little kid again; jumping off of things that were far too high, running as fast as my legs could carry me, without a care in the world that I was more than likely to trip over my laces and scrape my knees on the pavement. When you're a child you're pretty much fearless, you have no reason to be otherwise.

I don't want to be scared of roller coasters, I don't want to be scared of a scuba-diving mask controlling my breathing. I want to be fearless, as fearless as the Banger racers, but I don't know how to be. And I think that's half the problem; there is no formula which you can follow to conquer fear - you just have to take risks and hope for the best. Of course that's easier said than done (and I'm certainly no psychological expert!) but I do believe that the only way to ever feel adrenaline and the buzz which follows it is to do something outside of your comfort zone. So perhaps I should take my own (slightly questionable and underdeveloped) advice, and dare I say it encourage you to do the same. Do something which makes you feel uncomfortable, regularly, because only by doing this will you learn if you should ever do it again.