Remember your why and google Mr Soft

We are After the Storm creator Verity Hart ponders in a world where we are told to face and overcome our fears, in some cases its just not necessary. In some cases its important to recognise when its time to stop and remember your why.

This week has felt a bit like 4 Weddings and a Funeral to me.  There have been some amazing things but also some sad, in fact heart breaking events too and I feel it necessary to acknowledge them.

Monday saw the 5th anniversary of my Dad’s death.

Tuesday saw my first trip to Manchester on the train since March 2020, with some awesome meetings that mark exciting growth for We are After the Storm, however Manchester was eerily quiet.

Wednesday saw my 20th Wedding Anniversary, a disastrous trip to Bounce Below in Wales (note even as an avid trampoline park fan, this was not for me, but at least I can laugh about it now!) rounded off with a fantastic meal out with the Mr.

Thursday saw the tragic passing of a bright, courageous, warrior of a woman.  She was the mother of our very own Louise.  You may have read our previous storm story, ‘Learning to Adapt – My grandma has cancer’ written by Louise’s daughter Georgia.  She was truly amazing and it is a devastating loss.

Then Saturday evening we went out to celebrate a wonderful friends birthday.

There is one day I am going to focus on, please don’t think me insensitive and I am definitely not glossing over the enormity of the loss of a loved one, but in this particular instance that is not my story to tell.

The focus of our blog today is Wednesday, my 20th Wedding Anniversary.  It was a strange one this year.  20 years feels monumental, and as such we decided to book a really special holiday this year with our girls to mark the occasion.  That however is still hanging in the balance depending on travel restrictions.  We decided that instead of buying individual gifts we would buy ourselves a Kayak for more adventures (can’t wait to try it).  We wanted to do something fun and active for our anniversary and because both of us love trampolining we though we would try Bounce Below in Wales.  So, both super excited we left the beautiful sunny climbs of Shropshire in 19 degree heat and headed off into Wales where it got progressively more grey and cold and as we reached our destination the heavens opened.  However, this did not dampen our spirits as we knew we would be underground in a cave so a bit of rain didn’t matter.  We donned our hairnets and hardhats, put tape around our rings and set off into the slate mine.

Now I should point out I’m a pretty tough cookie, as a boxer and coach I get in a ring with men, some that are bigger than me, and get punched for fun (if I’m not careful) so I am no stranger to adrenalin.  

The sight I faced at Bounce Below however turned me cold.  A huge cavern with nets suspended at different levels.  The other people in our session joyously bounced out on to the nets, more a bouncy castle type situation than trampoline, as in you had no control over your bouncing.  Here in lay two problems for me, I have a debilitating phobia of heights and I like to be in control. 

However, filled with the notion that we had come to have fun I stepped out on the nets expecting that joyous squeals and shrieks coming from all the other bouncers would soon be coming from me, but alas, no.  Sheer panic and terror took over, instead sobs and hyperventilation occurred, as I desperately made my way to solid ground.  Not one to be beaten though, I followed my husband through a tunnel made of net to another bouncy platform which just showed the sheer drop below, he bounced, I cried, and I just couldn’t handle it.  I begged to leave, so we made our way to the exit.

At the exit one of the marshal’s enquired as to what was wrong and suggested that we made our way down to a smaller lower platform to get used to the sensation.  I do a lot of work on my self-belief and mind over matter so stepped back into the fray.  It was to no avail, the sensation of not being in control of my movement was too much.  At which point I had a moment of clarity.  Why was I torturing myself?  There is over coming your fears and there is a time to recognise that something is causing more harm than good.  We left, I managed 30 mins in the caves.  We got back in the car and made the 2 and half hour journey back to Shropshire and the closer we got the temperature rose and the rain stopped.  We went on to have a fantastic evening and our anniversary is certainly a day we will remember and looking back I can laugh as I must’ve looked like Mr Soft (google it)

Why do I share this story with you, well for a couple of reasons, firstly phobias are real, we are constantly bombarded with the philosophy that we can overcome any obstacle and do anything we put our minds to, and in most cases that is true and in some cases its not necessary.  If my fear was crossing the road, I would need to face it and get over it.  Do I need to walk on springy nets suspended over caverns on a daily basis to survive? No, so why torture myself and ruin what was supposed to be a fun day.  Secondly it is a great example of something I hear a lot and something that I am regularly reminding the After the Storm team of ‘Remember your why’ why you are doing what you are doing, what is it for?  In the story above we were there to have fun, not for me to overcome fears, but to laugh and be silly together.  In life and in business if you can always remember your why you will stay on the journey that is meant for you.

And my final thoughts on this subject make sure you remember to laugh at yourself and that one bad experience doesn’t need to ruin a day, get up dust yourself off and remember your why.

Love Verity x

Keywords: why phobia fears panic fun emotion sorrow death