Keith Elkins CrosStrike Martial Arts & Kickboxing

How do you Fear

Posted: April 25, 2016

"He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret to life."

--- Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the early eighties I had the privilege of teaching Taekwondo at one of Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee's studios in the Washington D. C. metropolitan area. There were about ten studios at that time. All of the instructors were very competitive and most were either world, national, or regional karate champions. Every so often someone would come up with some new group adventure like white water rafting or rock climbing. Someone came up with the idea of skydiving, so everyone followed suit and we set out and found a school that teaches skydiving.

There was a group of about ten of us in this class. The class was a day long class that covers everything from your equipment to all the procedures for skydiving including if and when something may go wrong. Along with our group there was another group of what I like to call "at risk students". All these guys did was cut up and goof off. I don't know about you, but if I am going to jump out of a plane at over 3,000 feet in the air with nothing but a sheet attached to my back I was going to make sure I listened to the instructor.

Love is what we were born with, Fear is what we learned here.

At the end of the lessons it was time for us to get geared up and go up in the plane and JUMP! The At Risk Group went up first. As we were standing on the ground watching them getting ready to jump there was definitely a great sense of anticipation in the air. Well the first guy jumped and his chute came out perfectly. We all applauded because the chutes seemed to be working. The next guy jumped and the same thing happened. However guy number three jumped and his chute came out fine, but instead of grabbing the cords that help to control the chute he grabbed the release straps and completely released his chute.

Everyone was terrified. He was potentially falling to his death right before our eyes and then at the last minute he released his safety chute and saved himself. I guess he should have focused more in class that day. Well at that point it was our turn to go up. Needless to say we were just a bit nervous but instead of focusing on that, we started quizzing each other on all the procedures we had learned in class that day.

Once we reached over 3000 feet, I looked out of the window and made the comment that the ground looks just like pictures that I had seen where everything looked miniature. My friends laughed and said; you act like you have never been in a plane before. Well I never told them but, I had never been in a plane before. When they found out they thought I was crazy. I then asked; had you ever jumped out of any of the planes that you had flown in? The answer was no. They had flown, I had not but none of us had ever jumped out of a plane.

At that time the Jump Master called my name to jump first. I really didn't want to be first, however there was no turning back. I instantly focused on the things I had learned in class. The jump master was going to give me three commands. 1. Step out onto the platform. 2. Pull yourself out. 3. JUMP!!! The jump master also informed me that if I did not jump then he would proceed in kicking me off because the wind was so strong he could not reach out to pull me back in. Well needless to say I am here today, which means my chute worked well.

You talk about feeling FEAR. That moment that I had to jump was pure fear energy. The one powerful lesson that I received is the fact that we all have fears and challenging things that happen in our lives. Facing your fear is the greatest challenge and has with it the greatest rewards. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of criticism, or whatever else your fear may be, will often cause you to experience what I call FREEZE FEAR. That's when you are fearful and only focus on what can go wrong and what you can't do. I have found that fear is energy like happiness or excitement. To get closer to using it use FOCUSED FEAR. Use that energy to say I am afraid but what can I do about it. Remember what you focus on expands. So get your fear FOCUSED!