Who’s going to win the battle – you or youself?

The cargo bay door begins to drop and the wind flushes in all around me. I take a few steps and there I stand on the edge of a giant metal grate, looking down 12,500 ft. into clouds and nothingness. Before I even have a chance to take a deep breath we jump.

Last week, I had the absolute honour of getting a once in a lifetime invitation from the Canadian Forces Paratrooper Stunt Team, the SkyHawks, to go sky diving from a massive Hercules aircraft on one of their training routines. They were in town for a special guest appearance at the Red Deer Westerner Days and through a friend they asked if we wanted to join them for a jump. With my heart beating and fear filling up my lungs I reluctantly said ‘yes’. Little did anyone know around me, this guy is somewhat afraid of heights, let alone 12,500 ft. worth of heights.

I found out that I was jumping with the SkyHawks only 24 hours before take-off and thank goodness I didn’t have a week to think about it. It felt like I was watching a scary movie on repeat for the entire day; palms sweaty, heart beating and I was on the edge of my seat. That morning it was hard to eat and I have never chewed my finger nails that much in my life. Here we go; we drive to the Red Deer Airport, barely anyone speaking to my friend (who is also scared of heights) on the way there.

Then the weirdest thing happened to me. We arrived in the airport and met the paratroopers and this wave of calm and stillness came over me. I think it was then that my mind finally made the connection that this event was happening whether I liked it or not and made peace with the idea. Needless to say, I have never had so much fun, exhilaration and adrenaline pumping through my veins then when we back flipped off the cargo door of a 75,800 lb military aircraft well above recommended sky diving altitude.

I got over my fear. The hard way, mind you. There was no one against me but myself. I had been losing the fight for years but now I can say that it’s over and I hope it never comes back. It was me versus myself and I won.

Now, how the heck does this relate to the health and fitness column?

Simple. We all have fears — fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of new things and even fear of success. The only thing that is similar about all these fears is that they don’t go away until you step up and greet them with a smile and a kick in the ass.

At our gym, we see new people come into the facility with fear in their all the time. With fear of crowds, fear of being in gym clothes, fear of letting themselves down, fear of embarrassment and fear of admitting defeat. I am so happy for each and every one of these people. Just walking into our doors is the same as me standing on the edge of the plane. They did it! They faced their fear, they made the phone call and they showed up. For the average onlooker, heck it’s easy to say, “Oh don’t worry, join a gym and get in shape, it’s easy.” It is way harder than we all think. Usually when we have a new personal training client come into our gym it was not their first time walking into a gym, a diet centre or fitness class. We are usually the last step for people because they have tried, failed and tried, failed and failed some more. Naturally, you start to develop a fear of walking into a place and asking for help to lose weight, burn fat or just to feel good in your clothes again.

I am so proud of these people. Not only did they make the realization to never give up but they keep trying and trying until success comes to them. Our clients are some of the most driven and stubborn people in Red Deer and that’s why I like them all so much.

So to everyone out there that is scared to ask for help in losing weight, fitting into your favourite jeans or being able to keep up to their own kids — keep going. Keep trying. Keep standing up to your fears and make a decision for once and for all who’s going to win? You or yourself?

Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer. He can be reached at 403-347-1707 or check out www.360fitness.ca for more information.

Just Posted

Shots fired in Riverside Meadows neighbourhood

Red Deer RCMP believe incident isn’t random

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

City sells former RCMP building, land to province

Construction of new courthouse in Red Deer one step closer to reality

City increases parking rates by 25%

Red Deerians expected to pay increase in early fine payments

RCMP make arrests after bank robbery

Two suspects are in custody after using a needle to rob a CIBC in north Red Deer

WATCH: Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Most Read