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Greatest Fear July 14, 2006 Friday

Greatest Fear

When I see old people who can hardly take a flight of steps or people who can't eat mouth-watering food for health reasons, fear runs through my spine. What if that happens to me? As superficial as it sounds, losing my fitness seems to be my greatest fear. To a large extent, my freedom hinges on my fitness. Without it, I can't climb the mountain tops, I can't hammer-down techinical single-tracks on my mountain bike, and I can't take-off to anywhere at the drop of a hat. I can't savour an Aklay dish made with triple cream butter and lard and I won't be able to live a life of nomadic mobility the way I want it. So many "I can'ts...".

All in the Mind
My holy man once cautioned me not to be so dependent on what my body can do because health and life are fragile. Even with utmost care, bad things still happen. He encouraged attaining freedom through the mind. I was reminded of what actress-turned-yogini, Ali McGraw once said, that the best journeys she has taken are those by the mind. Any yogi understands that. I could be debilitated but if the mind still works, I still have the ability to be free, unencumbered even by a wheelchair.

A Powerful Ally
I'm not entirely unfamiliar with such powerful concept. In my quest for meaningfulness, my (mis)adventures have taken me to stunning landscape, fascinating people, and esoteric concepts. These little episodes invariable reveal a few of life's secrets as I open myself up to it. At times, I find myself struggling with conflicting ideas that leave me with a disturbing sense of falsehood. All these only underscore what powerful ally (or foe) the mind can be.

Sound Body Sound Mind
Fitness and the mind. They're not mutually exclusive. Sound body sound mind - I'm sure you're heard that one before. As much a cliché as it is, it still always has.

Aklay and Chris
Given the challenges that Aklay has hurdled, I wondered what his greatest fear I asked. He just deflected my question. Maybe I presumed too much to ask him such a soul-searching question. I wonder too how Chris and my holy man would answer that. These are people who pushed the boundaries of life and freedom far beyond the normal joe blow. I can't imagine how they'll define life without the freedom they've relentlessly pursued and so vigilantly protect.

If you've come this far reading this article, I wonder too. What is your greatest fear? Email me.

--- TheLoneRider

Comments? Email

Reader Comments:

Dennis Hammer
(29 Jul 2006) Having been totally nomadic for the last 4 years - and with an outlook of it staying that way for some time - I guess my greatest fear is losing my freedom. So what is my freedom? The freedom to search, the freedom to experience, the freedom to see, the freedom to travel.

I go to great lengths protecting that freedom and I have found a lifestyle that lets me balance this wish for seeing and experiencing and travelling with the work I am doing. Since I started doing yoga this January I have found a way to open my mind and experience things more fully than before. Losing this ability again, this freedom of mind and body, freedom of boundaries - that's the greatest fear I have.

A long answer, but then again, it has been a deep question. It has been very good meeting you and I am looking forward to seeing you in Sagada. My first trip to Sagada has left me with a strange feeling. A wish to come back and the thought that this must be the most spiritual place in the whole of the Philippines....Namaste

Ate Tris
(20 Jul 2006) My greatest fear? I'm the only person I know who had so many, and yet when I think harder, nothing at the same time. I have detached myself from the world, missed almost a year of my life not doing anything at all.

As an undergraduate student, I decided to stop living. I questioned my very existence, refused to do anything, asked the purpose of my being. I knew wanted to do so much - save the world, see the world, spread goodness around. I was stuck because these things I wanted to do seemed too difficult, too ideal. I needed something to push me, to tell me what to do. I stayed at home, stared at the ceiling, thought and cried without answers to my questions. After one semester like that, I decided to do the opposite - to do anything. I took courses not within my program (I chose these courses in the most logical way) just so I was doing something. Anyway, two and a half years later, I reluctantly graduated (What for? What next?) and began a delinquent studying and teaching stint (because I didn't know what that to do, didn't want to leave UP, didn't want to grow up) as well as a long needy relationship. Years later, with no accomplishments in any career and a failed relationship, I see I am faced with the same questions.

The world has no answers for me. Only I can answer my questions. I have just begun to live, to have a sense of purpose, because I just made some relative choices - what to do, where to go, what to pursue, what to like and dislike. I can only say I was just too scared then to do anything, to decide what I want, or to just be.

I guess that my greatest fear is being myself. Something in me feels my Greatness and Godness, as if I'm the most beautiful being (as we all are), yet I do not see it (yet) and I am afraid to find out otherwise.

I don't know if this makes sense.

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