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Conquering Your Fears

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve met so many people that absolutely refuse to do things. Things that would actually make them happy, but they don’t, because they are scared. I have someone older, close to me, that refuses to use a computer, or an IPAD. They love to shop, they love to play games, they love to watch old movies and see photos and connect with people, but the fear of learning, or even touching, that device is simply too terrifying for them.

I know someone else who struggles with their health and refuses to exercise (or do more than walking casually) over fear they “won’t feel well,” or that “they’ll do too much” and then won’t feel well. This real fear stops them from doing things they sometimes will casually say, “I wish I were able to do that.”

Fear is a real thing. It’s so easy for us to just say “Oh, suck it up and just do it,” but if the mind is not ready to commit, the body simply won’t follow. Fear can stall you and cause intense distress. I started a new job this year and they mailed me a Mac, and told me we were using Slack, Googlemeets, Googlemail, etc. I’m a big PC Microsoft Office girl. Microsoft Teams. I can do Excel and Powerpoint like a pro. Using Word is as simple as breathing for me. But suddenly at 53, while I’m sitting in my attic office, alone, I’m frozen in fear as I attempted to figure out how to even turn on my Mac. People kept telling me “It’s intuitive and so easy,” but honestly things are only easy if you know what you’re doing. Add on the stress of Covid and there was no one that could even come over and sit with me to help me navigate and learn. I had to google and watch videos over and over to simply learn tricks. The fear at the beginning was palpable and I begged my company to send me a regular PC. But, I have a good friend (and my daughter) who both told me to “stop being such a big baby, and just learn it.” They were right. I was doing exactly the opposite of what I preach. I took 1000 deep breaths, told myself it’s okay if don’t become an expert at this immediately (or over the next month), and just try and learn. I’m a few months into the job and things are better. At least I can navigate around and I won’t lie, I pat myself on the back and congratulate myself when I can actually find a specific email I haven’t touched in a few weeks. It’s NOT as intuitive as everyone under the age of 30 says, but I’m handling it.

Fear is about just “doing it.” Trying, attempting. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be an expert and it’s okay if the learning curve is slow.

I joined an open water swim group last summer. I’m not a great swimmer at all and I was amazed I put myself in a situation where I was going into an open bay, and swimming longer distances than I normally do. I’m not even sure why I did it, but the thrill was there for me and I thought, “why not?” I was trying to become a better swimmer and the idea of using a wetsuit and swimming in open water kind of made me feel a bit like a badass. So, I did it. Was I slow? Oh yeah. But I got stronger. Last night was the first night this year when I rejoined the group. Look at this photo and tell me that taking the chance, swallowing my fear, wasn’t the right choice? How beautiful is that scene? I was again in the slower group, which was FINE. There were four of us, with our own wonderful couch on a paddleboard watching and paddling nearby to make sure we were safe. And I know that even though every single time I step into that bay I have a tingle of fear, I also know that I’m doing something that will feed my soul and make me healthier. I also know how absolutely lucky and fortunate I am that I have the ability to even do this.

Do you do anything that you fear? Love to hear why you do it, how you conquer it, and what you get out of it.

Training for Triathlons – Thank you Lifetime Gym

In March, 2018, I joined Lifetime Gym. I was actually at the time looking for a place that had great wi-fi, a cafe and a place for me to work since I was working from home for my job and was getting way “too distracted.” Kids calling from school: “Can you bring me my backpack, my homework, food…” to “is dinner ready? Can you bring up the laundry,” etc. So, I needed to get out of the house and I thought maybe I’d take some classes, too, while I’m there. Figured a monthly membership was cheaper than renting an office!

It turned out to be GREAT. I’d go super early, take a cycle class, or workout class, go to the café and eat breakfast and then work for a few hours and then take a lunch class, shower and then head home, where I’d work for the rest of the day.

While there, I heard about Lifetime’s indoor triathlon and I so wanted to try it. I’d never attempted three events for a race and I was intrigued. It’s a sprint tri and all indoors, so I felt safe starting with that. I started cycling and running and (gulp) getting myself in the pool. I got a swim instructor lesson to test my stroke. Well, it was pathetic. I could not go ONE lap in the pool without gasping for air and having to stop to rest. Not one. She fixed a few things and told me to just do a lap at a time and build strength.

Fast forward 2+ years and the other night I just swam 1 mile in open water with a swim group. I can cycle 20 miles easily and can run about 3-4 pretty consistently. I’ll be honest, my sciatica flares up when I run, but I can do it. Everything is hard, but like life, anything you want to do takes work. I really don’t like to hear the word “no.” I hate more hearing “you’re getting too old to do this.” And while it might take me longer to get out of bed in the morning, and there are days my back is screaming, I try to tell this body to give me one more push. I refuse to go into old age quietly.

It’s like my writing. I’ve been working it for 14 years. It’s been so hard getting my books out to the world with the sheer amount of content out there, but hey, you don’t try, you will never win. So, to end this, if you are interested in a smart, female driven thriller series that I worked incredibly hard on, please give THE HUNT FOR XANADU a look. It’s just 99 cents on ebook. It was actually a Jeopardy! question back in October 2016 and the amazing author Douglas Preston wrote a review on Amazon for it – look under Editorial Reviews. Purchase here or even just read the first few pages for free! https://amzn.to/2EKG8fk

Ok, off to play tennis! Where’s my ibuprofen?? LOL!

Could You Survive a Zombie Attack?

Ha! I bet that title sucked you in! But really, could you survive a zombie attack? I train for triathlons and sometimes it’s so hard mentally to keep running, keep biking, keep swimming, that I play this little scenario in my head (well, I am a writer) that goes like this, “Ok, there are zombies about a mile behind me, how fast and how far do I need to run that I can put enough distance between us that a) they don’t smell me any longer and b) I can sleep for a few hours before they lumber up to my camp?”

Swimming on the bay

I know it’s crazy, but it makes me at times go just one more step, one mile more. Another scenario goes like this… “I live on Long Island and there’s been an apocalypse and I need to get to the west side of NYC to get some medicine for someone in my family. Roads are closed to cars, bridges are down.” The fact is, I’m confidant RIGHT NOW that I can do this. I can bike the 20 miles to the East River, swim across it and then run to the west side of NYC, get the medicine and do the trek back home. I’m also pretty confidant I can do this in a good amount of time.

Creepy Horror Collection

Do you play any scenarios in your head as you’re training? For some reason, my brain always goes to the macabre. I actually wrote so many short stories this way and you may like my horror short story collection called RICKET ROW. It’s a compilation of horror tales for just $0.99. Here’s one of the reviews I just love:

DeeDiDee
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepiest Horror Compilation Out There!

I became a fan of Ms. Salpeter’s when I picked up her full length novel, The Mannequins, so I picked up a copy of Ricket Row almost as soon as it came out! Ricket Row is a compilation of horror vignettes and short stories that promises a little something for every horror reader. It is so crazily good that I read it in two short sittings, and had bedtime not been calling I would have devoured the whole thing in a sitting!

As a serious Poe fan, I couldn’t resist The Pilgrimage to Poe. It was a seriously cool take on the mystery person who is famous for leaving a remembrance in honor of Poe at his grave every year. As a devotee of Chinese food, I ate up Mr. Wong’s Amazing Wok and the sinister reason why the heroine can’t quit eating his house special dumplings. And Mr. and Mrs. Odd got inside my head and is haunting me hours later.

Ms. Salpeter writes horror with the best of authors, carefully constructing creepy, chilling, vivid atmospheres with a fast pace that takes you from shivering to hiding under the blankets in a handful of page turns. She takes the horror genre and preys on your psyche, delivering epic blows without the gore factor. Looking for a horror anthology to shake your nerves? This is it!

My next goal is to be able to run a 10K. That’s 6.2 miles. To be honest, I start to lose it at 4 miles. My sciatica acts up, but I’m determined to do this. I think I’m going to actually start the Galloway method where you run and walk at times. Hopefully I can build it up to get to that.

Please tell me some of your goals? Do they involve surviving an apocolypse or some kind? Would you survive? Love to hear!