By Glenne Fucci, Regular ContributorDecember 4, 2015
image via starttravelinglight.com
It has happened to all of us. The week before a performance, game, race, or presentation, it creeps up and seeps into everything we do. It’s totally normal to get nervous when making a speech or standing on a stage, but sometimes it’s more than just “stomach butterflies,” sometimes it’s a paralyzing fear that makes us question why we do these things in the first place. It doesn’t seem fair that after we work so tirelessly to get to the main event, we’re left so incredibly nervous that we can’t seem to enjoy it. Rest assured though ladies, if this sounds like you, you are certainly not alone.
When I started running, I did it for fun, never caring much about my results. However, a couple of years ago I had two knee surgeries that left me determined to never take for granted my ability to move my body again, and so I began running more frequently and competitively. I won one race and then another, and suddenly running no longer was just about being fun but about timing and pacing and pushing myself to the next level. But, with all of this increased competition came a little thing called pre-race anxiety.
It happens the same way each time. A week before the race I have a terrible dream about the race. It’s always the same and ends with me running a thousand miles off course and ending up in the wrong town, struggling to find my way back to the proper finish line. After the dream night, the next few days are spent trying to edge out the dread of knowing how badly my body is going to hurt during the race. Two days before, I actually wonder if an injury is a better fate than having to run this race. I then try to rationalize with myself by reasoning that the world will not end if I don’t hit my target mile pace. And then, I show up at the race, nervous as ever on the start line, and head off, now fearless as ever, toward that finish line. I say the same thing every time I cross it-- “I can’t wait to do this again.”
Turns out, those moments we’re most nervous about are actually really special to us, which is why we’re so nervous about them in the first place.
We’ve worked so hard, so long, so endlessly to get to this event and all of those hundreds of hours rest on this one moment in time. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a 6 mile race or two hour performance. Although it seems like we want to hide from this anxiety, we might be better served heading full-speed toward it. Those nerves are a constant reminder that this thing that we’re doing, this thing that we devote all our time to, is so so important to us. We want to make ourselves proud and achieve our goals, and honestly, the one week of fears are totally outweighed by the bliss we feel when we finally get to live out our goals.
So ladies, fear not.
Know that however nervous you are about your upcoming event, those nerves shall too pass. Don’t let them discourage you or bring you down. Instead, use them as fire to keep your passions alight. Sure, all those hours of practice or preparation put your patience to the test, but it somehow all seems worth it when you’re in the midst of the moment you worked so hard to get to. Those interests are what make you unique, special, and fabulous and all your dedication to pursuing those passions is inspiring to those around you!
Do you often get nervous before a big event or performance? How do you tackle the nerves? Tell us below!
Glenne is a third year law student hailing from NYC, University of Michigan ‘13 grad and Beyonce enthusiast. Currently residing in Korea, my interests include duathlons/triathlons, traveling near and far, documentary films, consuming sugary cereal, watching mid-2000s teen dramas and singing my heart out at Betty Who concerts. You can watch me attempt to navigate Asia and beyond on Instagram @glennefucci.
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