Really fear, you again?!

Kaanapali Beach, Maui, HawaiiLast week, I shared on Facebook, that I snorkeled for the first time.

For many people, that’s not such a big deal. I really didn’t expect it to be such a big deal for me either, because I thought I’d overcome a big water fear seven years earlier, and was very surprised to have it show up again.

Eight years ago, it was a different story

Back then, snorkeling would have been absolutely unthinkable. See, at that point, not only did I not know how to swim, but I had a pretty strong water phobia. It had gotten so bad, I obsessively tried to not let water splash me in the face while in the shower.

Just imagine the mechanics of that for a moment.

When faced with an actual body of water, I was thisclose to a panic attack. I don’t mean just a little anxious, but rather, full-on, heart-pounding, sweat pouring, choked breathing, pretty sure I was actually having a heart attack and going to die, panicking.

The last time I’d experienced it was when I was standing on the banks of a four-foot deep, man-made lake with my girlfriends. They were trying to talk me into canoeing. I was trying not to cry.

Something had to change

Then, in January 2007, I came to a crossroads. I was going on a month-long adventure in New Zealand in March of that year. I realized I could miss out on some amazing things, or do something about it. I decided to do something about it, and learned to swim.

Fast forward to now, eight years later. There I was, standing in a few feet of water, mask and snorkel on, those long-ago feelings of panic starting to rise.

I was near tears

Standing there, I was panicking about the water, and about the fact that I was panicking. It didn’t help to be upset that I was upset about something that I thought I had already transformed. Recognizing that helped. In that moment, I could recognize that I had overcome something similar before; that I had tools available to me; that I had many choices available to me, including simply breathing. And, most of all, it’s not about never getting stuck again, but how you treat yourself when you inevitably do.

Remembering all of this allowed me to choose what to do next. I set myself up for success, clutching the hand of my very patient guy and practiced putting my face underwater.

It didn’t take long before I felt brave enough to let go and float for a few minutes. Then, I was able to swim off a few feet. I floated over a coral reef and there were fish! Beautiful tropical fish. Gorgeous coral. Bright anemones. It was a whole new world just 15 feet off the beach.

I was near tears again, but for a completely different reason

What is fear keeping you from? What might you discover if you could venture out and see something new?

If you haven’t been able to get there on your own, yet, consider what it would be like to do it with Unbelievable Ease.


I Thought I Couldn’t


Ten years ago, a friend announced to a group of us that she wanted to walk the Portland Marathon. She wanted us to join her.

While I had started doing something about my years decades of relative inactivity, walking 26.2 miles seemed impossible for me. I dismissed it immediately. “I’ll support you however I can,” . . . → keep reading

How I Give My Dreams Wings

Shannon Wilkinson at Mile 18 of the 2012 Portland Marathon

This post is part of Andrea Schroeder’s Give Your Dreams Wings blog hop. (Read all about it at the bottom of this post.) Special thanks to Andrea for including me, and inspiring this post!

A few years ago, I read a novel, I can’t remember the title or author’s name, just that the protagonist . . . → keep reading

How to Fall


And more importantly how to get up again.

It’s natural when you’re a kid. You probably don’t remember learning to walk yourself, but odds are, you’ve seen a toddler in the act. The falling, the getting back up, the trying and trying and trying. The cheering and encouragement for every effort.

The falls may include . . . → keep reading

Forgetting Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Care


Have you ever made a declaration that you’re going to make a change and then after a time or two forgot about it?

I’m going to eat better!

I’m going to exercise every day!

I’m going to watch my spending!

And then you don’t. You eat the way you’ve always eaten. Your workout clothes get . . . → keep reading

How Clear Are You? Really?

Foggy, snowy St. Johns Bridge - Portland, Oregon by Shannon Wilkinson

While coaching people on yesterday’s Explore & Play call, a little theme developed. It’s the same thing I’m going to be talking about at Thursday’s free talk here in Portland.

How clear are you about what you want?

Is it foggy and unclear?

Is it what others think you should want?

Is it a thinly . . . → keep reading

{Training Log} #8 – You Are Here


In 2011, I started running. In 2014, I’ll be running the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon. With this blog series, I’m sharing the techniques I use to coach myself (mentally, emotionally and physically) through six months of training. Thanks for joining me!

Let’s just get the difficult part out . . . → keep reading

Partnering with Athleta in Portland!

Join Shannon Wilkinson at Athleta Portland to Leap Over Resolutions Hurdles

I’ve long been a fan of Athleta. In fact, their purple puffy coat has been on every mountain summit with me.

But, it’s not just the clothes. I find their catalogs to be incredibly inspiring. The models look like they actually work play hard to be fit and toned. Plus, they aren’t wearing tons . . . → keep reading

Where will 2014 take you?

St. Johns Bridge over the Willamette River in Portland Oregon. Photo by Shannon Wilkinson

Has that been on your mind?

It certainly seems to be on the minds of the people visiting here in the last week. Besides the usual (weird) searches for bad black eye that land people here, most people are reading posts that will help them navigate the coming year.

Here are the most popular posts . . . → keep reading

{Training Log} #7 – Things Just Got Real

Mount Hood

In 2011, I started running. In 2014, I’ll be running the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon. With this blog series, I’m sharing the techniques I use to coach myself (mentally, emotionally and physically) through six months of training. Thanks for joining me!

This was the first week of my . . . → keep reading