How To Find Courage in the Midst of Fear

I'll be honest, I was afraid.

This morning I made a HUGE announcement and before doing so I was full of fear. 

Not horror movie fear, but more like standing on the start line of a really important race fear.

It is a type of fear that I am familiar with; one that I have come to appreciate. It's comprised of a unique mixture of emotions, namely anxiety and nervousness with a large scoop of excitement on top.

The great Nelson Mandela once said, ”Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." I read that when I was young and it stuck with me. We don’t need to be fearless, we just need to be brave.  

This morning I did my best to be brave, to summon the courage necessary to announce to the world that, athletically, I will devote the next three years of my life to train for one goal: to climb Mount Everest.

I felt nervous to share this goal with the world. What if I’m not successful... was the thought that kept running through my head. It can be terrifying to put a big goal out there for the public to follow, critique, laugh at, etc.

But back in January, I said that one of the most important parts of achieving any goal is to tell someone about it. Doing so creates a sense of accountability, and that accountability keeps one focused and determined when the going gets tough. Climbing Mount Everest will be one of the most challenging goals I’ve ever set for myself and now I am accountable to each and every one of you following my journey towards the summit.

Thank you for following along and thank you for keeping me focused on my goal.

If you’d like to learn more about this new goal of mine, please visit MileToMountain.com.


Bonus: My #1 Tip to Finding Courage

For me, I have always found courage by surrounding myself with people who believe in me. In fact, there were many times that the people around me believed in me more than I believed in myself! Seeing the conviction in their eyes and hearts is what has given me, and continues to give, the courage to be brave and conquer my own fears.

Two people that believe in me the most are my business partner, Coach Sam, and my girlfriend, Tiana Baur. In the video above, you can see and feel the belief Sam and Tiana have in me. Hearing their words gives me the courage I need.

So who do you have in your corner?

Remember, "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." -- Helen Keller

I want you to know that Run Gum believes in you. We are constantly amazed to hear stories from people like you who are confronting their own fears, finding courage, and achieving their goals. We are humbled to play some small part in helping you power through all obstacles in sport and in life.

Now climbing,

-Nick Symmonds