I imagine your initial reaction is “what the hell? Fear of MOUNTAINS?” I’m not all crazy. My fear started when I earned my head band at Tough Mudder. I mean, when you round the corner after the 7th mile after going up and down this mountain about 10 times [read: legs burning] and you see this hill, you grow a fear of mountains.
Despite my fears going into the race like hypothermia, literally breaking a leg and death (yes, death), just signing up for the Tough Mudder changed my perception of challenges and helped me set goals that had always seemed bigger than I could achieve. That’s why I signed up in the first place. When my coworkers suggested we sign up, I just assumed it was something I could never accomplish. 10 miles up a mountain that’s covered in mud and obstacles? No. I have limits when it comes to this exercise business. But something in me kept saying “you HAVE to do this.”
To be clear, these “limits” were a joke up to that point. Before my race, I had never run an officially timed 5k let alone a 10 mile obstacle course. My biggest accomplishment was finishing a BURN class at my local gym without throwing up. I still remember telling my girlfriend I had signed up for a Tough Mudder. Her reaction went something like this: “Nooooooo!” She knows how accident prone I am so this was totally reasonable yet somehow I convinced even her to support my crazy.
And I did it with a lot of help from a lot of people. My wimpy ass was not getting through this without some kicks in the ass from my trainer, my co-workers and my girlfriend. I was bruised, electrocuted and a bit delirious but damnit… I crossed that finish line. It was the biggest thing I’ve ever done. Will I do it again? We’ll see. But it’s not about doing the race again. It’s about that moment when I finished the race. It was proof to me that putting energy towards my dreams and goals instead of my fears was worth it. I could do anything (and I still can, damnit).
My point and motivation to write this post that I probably should have written in May is that this Sunday, I’ll be running my first half marathon. 13.1 miles with nothing to distract me except my wife (who’s a champ to run with me) and the spectators. I can only hope the race supporters will be as hilarious as these marathon sign ideas because I’ll need the laugh. The thing is, I know I can do it. My girlfriend and I have put a lot of energy towards this dream and I can’t wait to accomplish this with her. I’ll check back in Monday and let you know if I fail miserably or what.
“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears.”
– Richard Wilkins
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.