I was thinking the other day about barrel-racing horses and how it correlates to how we live or not live or lives. In competition I’ve always been a middle of the road rider when it came to speed. It wasn’t my horses fault; they were certainly capable of going faster, because when other riders rode them they did. All these years I've practiced, practiced, practiced, working on getting better and faster, but I always seemed to stay at the same speed, becoming a better rider but never breaking that speed zone. I would watch faster riders and try to figure it out what they had that I didn’t. I went so far as to give up, sell my horses and take a break from riding for 2 year.
Recently I have been given the opportunity to ride my neighbor’s horse, which is an exceptionally trained, fast horse. As I was practicing her and made a run, something profound occurred to me. During the run I rode her past my “comfort” zone before asking her to turn. In the past, long before getting to the barrel I would start setting up for my turn, losing valuable time. I knew I was doing this, and in my mind I had a lot of good reasons to justify it, but I never realized till the other day what it truly was, fear. Fear of looking bad, making a mistake, falling off, I am not capable, all the bad that could happen on the other side of my comfort zone. What I found is none of that happened, but that I can do this and it was actually just as easy if not easier once I got out there past “my” comfort zone. It astounds me that all this time the only thing that’s been holding me back from being faster is what’s in my head.
To sum this up, an appropriate quote from Edmund Hillary-“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”.