Frozen in Fear

Posted: October 10th, 2012   |   Category: Blog

Are you letting your fear of failure hold you back?

By the time I got to the Staten Island Triathlon, I was able to swim 1 mile in the pool. The SI Tri was only 1/3 of a mile long. Not only was it short but it also had a strong current so I assumed it would be a piece of cake for me.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It went so bad that I nearly quit (Click here to read all about it). I felt lucky just to make it through it. It was my first triathlon that I completed, but as successful as it was, what happened to me in the weeks after was a huge failure.

Before the Staten Island Tri I was getting to the pool 5 or 6 times a week, sometimes twice a day! But after that race I didn’t swim for a week. And I didn’t swim for a week after that! It was almost 3 weeks before I got back into the pool.

The truth is that I was scared.


I wasn’t scared about getting into the deep end of the pool. I was scared of getting back into the pool and confirming what the Staten Island Tri suggested to me; that I was nowhere near ready; that my Ironman dreams were just that. A dream. Something too far for me to achieve.

But after two and a half weeks I finally got back into the pool. I forced myself. I had to.

And with only 3 swim workouts in the pool I went from a horrible 1/3 of a mile swim in the Staten Island waters to a liberating 1.2 mile swim in the Poconos Ironman 70.3.

FEAR will keep you frozen in place if you let it. It can keep you in place for a day, 3 weeks, or 10 years!

There are two things you need to understand about fear. First, what you’re afraid of is not as bad as you think it is. In our heads we makes things we’re afraid of seem so much more threatening than it really is. That’s the truth.

Another thing you need to know is that there is so much opportunity waiting for us right after we face our fears. I know because I earned a beautiful Poconos Ironman 70.3 medal and there’s a medal waiting for me at the Ironman Arizona finish line.

If you live in fear you will live to one day regret it. But if you push through it YOU WILL become unstoppable.

In January 2012, not knowing how to swim or tread water, Mark Izhak signed up for Ironman Arizona, beginning with a 2.4 mile swim.

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