Fear of falling


About a week ago I had “five miles of rolling hills” on my running schedule.  I hate this workout.  Now, no one in their right mind actually enjoys running uphill, but I’d run uphill all day long if it meant I never had to run down one.  The whole time I run downhill, I have to tell myself “don’t shorten your stride, don’t brake, don’t brake, let the hill carry you.”  See, I’m really, really, scared of falling.


There is no way I would run down this.

So last week as I was running down the hills I added additional self-talk.  “If you fall, just tuck and roll. You won’t necessarily hurt yourself again.”  And out of nowhere I hear my brain respond, “I’m not scared of hurting myself.”  I mean, what’s falling going to do, give me cancer?  So I mulled that over for a minute.  “Well if you’re not scared of hurting yourself, what are you scared of?”  Silence.  Then a few minutes later, “I’m not scared of LANDING.”

Right.  Of course.  I’m not scared of landing, I’m scared of falling.  I’m scared of not knowing what’s going to happen in between the time I lose control in mid-air and the time I regain control lying on the ground.  It always comes back to that with me, doesn’t it?

I’ve been struggling a lot lately.  I’ve been having a lot of anxiety, not related to cancer or illness, but just related to random life and work stuff.  I’ve been having panic attacks somewhat more regularly than I’m comfortable with.  So I called and got a prescription from my doctor and a referral to someone to talk to about it, and we’ll see if that helps.  Because ever since I was diagnosed, I feel like I’m on the precipice of falling, that I’m teetering and could lose control at any minute and that I won’t know what to do next.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. But once again recognizing the problem helps to solve it.  Sunday I ran the Rock n Roll Dallas half-marathon 5 minutes slower than I did 2 years ago, which I was really bummed about.  It’s a really hilly course (I know – Dallas – but seriously, it’s more hilly  than the half I ran in Seattle).  My time may not have been what I wanted, but I have to tell you, when I got to those downhills, I flew.


About Elizabeth

Running and thinking about life one step at a time.
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