Todd Motto

Todd Motto @toddmotto

Sharing my fitness and health journey with all developers, so you can change your life too. I suffered from years of weight gain, back ache, depression, low energy, bad diets and more. Here's what I did about it!

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If You Can't Beat Fear, Do It Scared

14 October 2021

Todd Motto

You’re completely alone in the dark. Nothing but a headtorch piercing the darkness lighting up your path.

You’re miles from home and safety. If anything happens now, no one will know.

Surrounded by crop fields that gently sway in the cool breeze, you make your way through the twisted pathways further out into the countryside.

Silence. This feels like a horror movie.

Lifeless trees loom overhead and grow eerily closer, your warm breath puffing in front of you giving away your position.

Eyes are staring back to you from up ahead. It’s too dark to tell what it is.

Your hands increasingly hint with pain. It’s getting colder. The wind hits the side of your face and stings.

Distant noises fill the air, thoughts spiral out of control, you wonder why you’ve committed to this.

But holy shit. We’re doing it, right. This feels incredible (despite our thoughts of impending doom).

Endorphins and adrenaline are off the chart. The thrill is in full effect. Let’s just hope we make it home to post the run on Instagram.

“At least it was a good run if I do die” I tell myself jokingly.

If you’ve not guessed, this was my run earlier this week. I live in the middle of nowhere in the English countryside, and many folks say it’s a scary running route. Sure, it definitely is!

But, should we let that stop us? Once you’ve pushed through the fear, you become unstoppable. You are up for any challenge that’s presented. It just takes you a split decision.

Here’s my split decision that changed my week. It’s Friday tomorrow and I still feel incredible from the Monday night 10k.

I went to run a typical 5k around the village, illuminated by streetlights and the odd car you feel pretty safe…

But, you know that part of you that seeks danger? Yes you do. It’s the side of you that wants to push the “red button” like in the movies. You shouldn’t - but you know you have to.

So I did it. As I approached my decision point to either make it a 5k or 10k run off into the wilderness on my own, the little devil on my shoulder was hinting at me “go left, Todd, let’s just do a 5k - it’s creepy as hell up that way and you’ve not ran 10k in a long time”.

Fuck. I had to really. If the devil on my shoulder tells me “no”. Then I have to be the yes man.

That’s why I write this blog. To push myself and encourage others, I have to take my own advice don’t I?

I got to the checkpoint. Left or right.

It was like one of those movies where the left sign reads “This Way For Safety” and the right sign reads “Imminent Death”. Okay, it wasn’t that sinister but that’s what went through my head.

I realised I was letting some fear and anxiety get in the way and the closer I got to the junction the more I was leaning to go left. We love a safe route don’t we?

So naturally, I went right. What’s the worst that could happen?

Long story short, I ran the 10k, and honestly - it was the best 10k I’ve ever finished!

My personal best is 46 minutes, this was a 49 minute with a focus on technique and not overdoing it. 8/10 effort run.

There was lots more in the tank. But to get faster, we must be consistent and not overdo it each time.

Spooky figure-8 off-road countryside running route.
Spooky figure-8 off-road countryside running route.

For those interested here are my split times:

I had a goal of sub-50 minutes, I've not ran 10k in around 6 months.
I had a goal of sub-50 minutes, I've not ran 10k in around 6 months.

If you’re scared, but feel like doing it, then just do it. If you really can’t do it, just turn around. But don’t fail before you’ve even tried.

By taking control of your actions it will help you in so many more aspects of your life than just running.

I feel like I can take on any challenge and am slowly feeling more bulletproof. Remember, nothing good happens in the comfort zone.

The takeaway from this story is “try silly things and surprise yourself”.

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