Today's episode is all about my awesome trip to Costa Rica where I surfed with my husband for a whole week – trust me, it was amazing! But here's the cool part: I faced some big fears during the trip. No worries, I'm sharing all the exciting details about how I conquered those fears and how they relate to the challenges many of you might be dealing with in your fitness and life journeys. I realized that the fears I tackled on my vacation are pretty similar to what my clients go through when they start counting macros or working on personal growth. Fear is like that unwanted guest that just won't leave, right? And it can hold us back from reaching our goals. So, buckle up! I'm here to spill the beans on my Costa Rican adventure, share some personal stories, and give you valuable insights that I'm sure will resonate with all of you. Get ready for a fun and inspiring ride!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/316
- Realization: Ownership Of Choices Matters. 07:35
- Make A Choice And Own It 10:40
- Teaching a Concept Doesn't Always Guarantee Embodying It 13:33
- Importance of Videoing in Weightlifting 17:28
- Surfing Feedback Challenge 18:53
- Overcoming fear through acknowledgment 35:05
- Choosing Growth Over Fear 48:45
- Expanding comfort zone through fear 50:55
- Embracing fear to lead by example 53:02
- Four Ways to Move Past the Fear 54:37, 55:15, 56:37, 57:33
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio Episode 316.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PR's. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife and mom of four. Each week my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise, mindset, personal development and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in. Now, let's jump into today's episode.
Hey, hey, hey! And welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And today I kind of have a fun, different kind of episode. I recently got back from a trip to Costa Rica with my husband. We went on a surf camp for a week and yes, it was amazing. We had a great time. And I have some experiences while I was on that trip that I thought would be really cool to come and talk about on the podcast because I dealt with a lot of fear on this trip and we'll get into why that was and how it kind of played out.
But as I was kind of processing some of that while we were on our trip. I was, I was thinking about a lot of corollaries or relationships to the fear that I was experiencing and trying to move through on this trip to a lot of my clients and you know the fears that they're experiencing as they're getting into macro counting or as they're, you know, starting to come up against some of the more challenging inner work that they have to do as they step into a new identity and a new way of being. And I mean, fear is never going away. All of us experience fear if you have an intact limbic system you experience fear and a lot of times that fear keeps us from the things that we want to do. And so I thought, what a great opportunity to be able to come on kind of share some personal stories, some of my experience, share a little bit about my trip and be able to relate it to something that I think will really valuable for many of you.
Surfing Back Story 02:20
So before we get into the trip itself, I have to kind of explain a little bit of back story about how this trip came to be. So we have lived in Southern California this time around for now seven years, and I say this time around because my husband did residency in Southern California. So we lived here for four years, we moved away to North Carolina for fellowship for three years and then came back, and he got hired on as an attending. And we've been here for seven years. So the first time around when we lived in California during my husband's residency, he had a friend who taught us how to surf. Actually, we had a friend, and we also had my sister-in-law. I think we actually went to read the first time with my sister-in-law. So we went down to San Diego, you know, she said. I'll teach you how to surf. So we did one day of surfing. And if you've ever been surfing, you don't learn a ton in one day but we went out for the first time and and then we had this other friend in Southern California who was really into surfing. And so we went many more times with him, got our own wetsuits, you know, kind of invested in some. We started with some foam boards and, you know, we just kind of dabbled around in surfing.
And honestly, the places that we went surfing actually, I remember, OK. I'm. I'm like, remembering stories. The places that we normally went surfing in Southern California, were not really crazy places. They're very nice. Small surf, easy to learn on waves, you know, break a little bit slower. They're close into shore. And I remember, actually, after we had gone surfing a couple of times with my sister-in-law. And then we went with this friend a couple of times. We're like, yeah, we got this. Like we, we can. We can do this. And so we actually decided one day to go to Huntington Beach, which if you're in the surfing world, you know that there's competitions that are held at in Huntington Beach, like surf competitions. And so the waves are a little bit bigger in Huntington. And we didn't go anywhere. That was like super large like listen, I've learned a lot about surfing. I can recognize like these waves are even that big, but I just remember we thought we were hot stuff and we went up to Huntington and, like, tried to go surf in Huntington and we could not even make it out past the break. Like we just kept getting pounded and pounded and pounded. And I just remember turning around and, like, going back to my car and being like, OK well we're not surfing in Huntington Beach anytime soon because we couldn't even make it out. So anyway, we surfed and you know, whatever we moved to North Carolina obviously didn't do a ton of surfing while we lived in North Carolina. Although we did try like once or twice on the East Coast, but it just, it wasn't the same move back, and my husband really likes surfing a lot more than I do. Like, I'm fine. I like it. It's fine. I will go. I just don't like being cold. This is my thing. I don't like being cold. And if you've ever surfed in the Pacific Ocean, it's way colder than the Atlantic Ocean. And so, you know, most of the year, even in the summer you need a wet suit, or at least I need a wet suit. And so my surfing window from like the time that I was willing to surf in a wet suit was from like May to like maybe October, but that was the time for him that I was willing to get into the cold water, even in a wet suit. And my husband likes surfing so much, and maybe he just, the waters, the mother him as much. He's willing to go like almost year round with a wet suit.
And so we kind of got into this pattern where he went a lot more, went surfing a lot more than me because I just. I'm not willing to do it in the cold. He also goes at like 6:00 AM in the morning. Like, right when the sun gets up. So it's not only is it cold, but it's like dark and cold. Anyway. It's just like not my thing. So my husband's done a lot more surfing than I have. I've done sun surfing. He really likes it. It's like a big hobby of his. He likes to invest time and money and resources and energy into it because he just really, really enjoys that, which is great. I'm so happy for him to have his own hobby. But he got in his mind that he, like he found this YouTube channel of the Surf School and he, like, learned a lot from them. And he had this idea that he wanted to go on the surf retreat where it was like a week long retreat. I've been saying I wanted to go to Costa Rica for a long time and I think and he kind of like, you know, just not really jumped on that. And then he found out that they went to the surfer treat. There was a surfer treat in Costa Rica and he was like, oh, it's the best of both worlds. We'll go to. I'm gonna take Amber to Costa Rica, and then we'll get to do the surfer tree and they'll be super fun. I was not so jazzed about it because, yes, I've wanted to go to Costa Rica, and I've been talking about going to Costa Rica for a very long time. But it was not my idea that we would go to Costa Rica and like go to a surf camp. It was my idea that we go to Costa Rica and like go down a beach and go like to the rainforest and do some of like, the tour, see things I was not thinking that I wanted to spend my week long vacation doing a ton of surfing, that was not my idea of a vacation. So, he, we we kind of talked about this and he finally said like, cause I was kind of dragging my feet. I didn't really want to commit to it. And he was like, well, it's OK. I'll just go, you know, I'll go on my own, like, a plenty of people go on these surf trips on their own. Like, I'll just go on my own and as soon as he said that I was like, oh, heck no, you are not going to Costa Rica without me. Like I don't want to be left out of this trip, so I finally was like, fine, just book it like I'll go.
Inner realization 07:35
Now, the reason I'm telling this story, but there is a point to this part of the story. Because as we got closer and closer and closer to the trip I had this realization of something that I was doing that I think we do a lot in, in our fitness journeys and that was this. I didn't really want to go on this trip. I was not super excited about it. It was not my idea of like the ideal trip for us to get away. I was like, we're going to be doing all the surfing. I don't love surfing like it's fine. But I didn't. I didn't really want to go on the trip, but I also didn't really want to be left behind. That that was a terrible option. So I had these two terrible options, like be left behind on this vacation or, you know, go on this vacation that I'm very excited about. Like, two options. Didn't really like either of the options. And so I was doing this thing that often we do where it's like I made the choice. But in the back of my mind, I was still very resentful of my husband, like I was still blaming him a lot for it, and it was kind of like I was kind of going to it. This attitude of like I probably won't like it. It probably will be very much fun and it's going to be his fault. Like it's his fault that I'm not having a good time because he kind of like, you know, he put me in this in this spot where I had to make a choice between, like, these two terrible options. And so that's, you know, that's that's this guy's fault. I had so I had this realization maybe about two weeks before we went on our trip and I have been doing some like inner work on myself and I was finally able to spot this and realize that. And so I brought it up to my husband and I said hey, you know like and I think my husband could sense it as well. Like, he could sense it as we were going close to that. I wasn't, like super excited about this trip. And. And so I finally like but hey, look I realize I've been doing this thing where I am not very excited about this trip and I, you know, I have this like idea that I'm going to get on it. It's not going to be very fun. And then it's going to be all your fault when I don't have fun on this trip, and I'm sorry for approaching it that way. It's not how I want to approach it. I'm a big girl. I can make a choice and I I have my choice. And when I make my choice, then I need to own the consequences that are associated with that choice. And so either I need to decide that I want to go on this trip and that's my choice, and I get to have the experience that I want to have on it, or I need to not go on the trip and I need to own that of like I didn't want to go on the trip and I am willing to stick with that. And it was really important for me to make that decision. I said, hey, I want to step in. I just want to get off the fence that I've been sitting on. I want to step in and I want to make the choice to go on this trip, and I'm going to do my best to have the best time, you know, possible. And even if I don't have a good time. Like, that's not your fault. That's my fault. That's my choice and my consequences and you know that's for me to own and not to pass off on to you and so that was a really great conversation that we had and a really important moment for me to really step in and own the choice that I was making and not make it somebody else's fault.
Make a Choice and Own It 10:40
So the reason I tell the story is because we do this all the time, all the time. This is something I work with my clients in MACROS 101. A lot about is this idea of owning our choices so so often, especially when we come into like health and fitness journey and we are going through making changes with our diet and making changes with our workout and you know, making internal changes as well, we get put in positions where it feels like we don't have the best options, we don't have the choices that we wish we would’ve had so you know, an example may be you are at this party and you know part of you wants to enjoy the food that is available to you at the party. You want to enjoy that, but you don't want to accept the consequences that come alongside of that. And then the other option feels like a terrible option as well is that go to the party and like not eat the food and stick to my plan and stick to my goals. Well, that doesn't feel very fun either. It's like there's like no good choice. We put ourselves in between like this rock and in place, we don't have any really great choices, and so then we kind of we choose one, but we don't own that choice. It's like a passive choice. It's like a choice that is like we blame our external circumstances. We blame other people. We like, we blame, blame, blame, blame it because we want to externalize that choice and not have to own it instead of doing what is much healthier where I'm working a lot again with my one Microsoft one clients to get them to is this place where you can make a full choice and you can own it. It's like I have these two choices. I'm a big girl. I can make a choice where, like, neither of them is like, the ultimate choice I wish it was. I have to sacrifice something for both of these choices. And I get to make that choice as a grown adult. And then I get to own that choice and I get to own what comes after that choice. So many of us are making choices somewhat passively, and then not owning them and then getting mad at the consequences and then blaming our age or our circumstances or our spouse or the party, or like whatever blaming everybody else for the choices that we made. And so this is, was a really important defining moment for me to kind of practice a little bit of what I preach of saying, hey, I'm going to step in, I'm going to step in fully and I am choosing as a grown adult to go on this vacation, it's not your job for me to have a good time. It's not your job for to make that decision for me. It's not your job to own my choice to go on this vacation. I'm choosing to go on it and I'm, you know, going to fully step in. So I invite you to pay attention to areas of your life where you may be doing that where you may be passing off decisions, or you may be passively making decisions instead of actively making the decision and owning it.
Teaching a concept doesn't always guarantee embodying it 13:33
And I will say I have taught this concept for years And it still creeps back in, right. It's one thing to understand a concept. It is a completely other thing to embody the concept, right? This is what we work on. I work on a lot with my MACROS 101 clients is like, yeah, I'm going to teach you the concept fantastic. And you're going to logically understand it, and you're going to be like, yes, Amber, that makes a ton of sense. But that is very different from then turning around and embodying it, and this is why coaching is so valuable, because again, it's one thing to learn is a complete and another thing to actually embody it in your life and coaching is the process that really helps with that embodiment. It helps you to start to have insight as to where you may not be embodying that. And then we can work with you on how to embody it, so as much as I've taught this concept as much as I intellectually logically understand this concept as much as I can see this concept and the issue in other people, it still can be really hard to see it in ourselves and again, that is why coaching can be so valuable. I always tell my clients you can't read the prescription label from the inside of the bottle, right? Having that external person be able to look at the prescription bottle and read it for you is so valuable. And having that insight from external sources can be really reliable. So that's the first thing that I wanted to share from my trip.
Costa Rica Surf Experience 14:51
So that's how the trip got planned and I decided to step in. We flew down to Costa Rica. My sister was so nice and came and stayed and watched my kids for us for the week. And you know, we got we got to Costa Rica. It was kind of a, it was a long trip. I mean long, I guess I put she put long in quotation marks. It's like long for us. We haven't done very many international trips. And so, you know, the six hour plane ride down there and then it ended up being like a four hour drive to the little surf town that we stayed in was a. It was a long it was a long first day. So we get in to Nosara, which is where we end the scene on the coast and, you know, met everybody and the going to skip forward to like the first day that we're in the water. OK. So the way that the surf trip worked and actually I really liked how the trip was laid out, it ended up actually being a really good mixture of surfing and time intensive stuff with surfing and then a lot of free time to be able to actually vacation and relax and go do the things that we wanted to do. So I was really happy with the experience of that balance between the two.
But the way that a lot of our days were structured were was like this, so we would get up. You know, fairly early in the morning because we would be timing it with the surf, right? We're trying to go out when the tides are best, when the wind is low. And so we would normally, you know, be out on the water by 6:37-ish in the morning and we had a hour and a half lesson out in the water. So we had a surf coach that was paired with husband and I out in the water. And then there was also some of the people who were on the surfer treat on the some of the coaches were on the shore and they had these big long zooming cameras so that they could video us out on the waves and we would do that for an hour and a half, practice our surfing, come in, have breakfast and then we would go to our theory lesson. So again, this is where like the the learning that that segmentation between like learning and implementation, learning and embodiment, we would go into our book learning and we walk through, you know all the surf techniques we talked about, different types of boards. We talked about different types of swells. We talked about positioning your body, where your eye should be, where your feet should be, how to read the surf report. Right? So like, every day was a little bit different, but we're learning all the technical aspects so that we logically understand surfing and then after that we would do our video analysis. So this is really cool.
Importance of Videoing in Weightlifting 17:28
So I've done weightlifting for lots and lots of years, and one of the most valuable things for me to learn how to squat and deadlift and bench and do all of these heavy compound lifts has been videoing myself and then being able to go back and either have a coach review my videos or you know, once I got familiar with what body position was supposed to look like. Me going back and being able to review my videos and say, oh, look, I can see my chest drops too much on that squad. I need to think chest drop on my next one. OK, I can go and do another set or look how my knees are, you know, sliding too far forward. Or look how I'm coming up on the toes on the squat and I can then adjust my body based off of what I'm seeing in the video because it is really hard to be able to know where all of your body is in space like we have this this concept called proprioception, which is our brains ability to know where our body is in space. When you're doing a compound lift, there's so much dynamic action, right? Your knees are somewhere, your feet are somewhere like something's happening with your hips and your back and your abs have to stay tight and you have to keep your upper back tight and all of these things, it's really hard to keep your mind and focus on so many parts of the movement, which is why videoing and being able to see yourself move and be like ohh I thought my chest was rising in line with my hips. But man, it is not. I need to really focus on that and that's the cue that I take into the next lift. So videoing has been super helpful with getting better at lifting.
Surfing Feedback Challenge 18:53
And that's really hard when you surf because typically there's nobody on the shore that is videoing you. And so it makes surfing actually a really hard sport to learn: one, because it's really hard to get that feedback because you can't actually see yourself doing it. And two, it's not consistent, right, like every time I go and unrack a bar from the from the rack to do a squat like the environments the same, nothing's dynamic, the ground's not moving. The bar is not moving. It's the same bar that I've always lifted with, like my shoes are the same. My belt is the same. Like there's so many constants that it allows for a lot more repetitiveness of the same thing. To really build that muscle memory. Surfing is not like that at all. Surfing is dynamic. You never get the same wave twice. You net like every it's always different and it makes it really hard and challenging to learn. So one of my favorite things about the surf camp was that we got to have video analysis so they would video our waves, the waves that we caught and then they would slow down the speed of the video and we would sit with a coach and they would walk through all of our the waves that we caught and they would start to point things out, they'd say. See how both your hands are over, you know the right rail. We need to have hands of one hand over each rail. Look where your shoulders are. Look how you dropped your chest when you did your pop up. Look where your feet are positioned on the board. They need to be, you know, more in the center of the board. Look how tall you're standing. Needed to get lower. Look how that back knee is not turned in, right. So all of these technique things one that I didn't even know. And two that I was able to see in action on the video analysis was just amazing. Like I learned so much just in that like short week because we had theory, we had implementation and then we had coaching. And it's funny, I didn't even make this connection until I'm just saying this now.
Similarities of the Surfing Program and my MACROS 101 20:48
Well, but the reason I was able to learn so much and grow so much in my surfing in one week was because we had those three pieces like we had the theory. We had the content, we had the information, we had the implementation of it out with the coach out in the water and then we had, you know, the video analysis and review of it. And you know, that's something that we do inside of MACROS 101 and such an important part of how I structure the program is it's there's content associated with it. I teach a lot of content, but then it is that implementation or that coaching of getting you out in the water, seeing how you do and then being able to coach you through it, that makes the program so valuable. Anyway, that's kind of an aside.
We are opening doors to MACROS 101 very, very soon on March 4th. So if you are not on the wait list, I highly recommend getting on the wait list at bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist.
OK, so anyway, I learned a tunnel that week and that would usually take us up to about like noon. Like all of that, the surfing stuff would take us up to about noon, and then the rest of the day we had time to hang out, go check out the town, hang out with the other people who were there for the surfer treat. We spent a lot of time just relaxing and reading. And like I said, it was a it was a good breakdown. It ended up being a really good breakdown between the surfing and and then the vacationing which I was a little bit nervous about going into it, hoping that it wasn't going to be like all surfing all the time and it wasn't. It was a good mixture.
Day 1 Experience 22:14
Okay. So then going to day one of the trip day one, looking back we we had five sessions with our surf instructor out in the water and looking back day one was actually the easiest conditions of all the days we we didn't know that at the time but it was definitely the easiest. The waves were nice and big, they like big, meaning wide, they didn't break too fast and it was just the conditions were beautiful like they were. It was a beautiful first day and everything was going really great. We started in the white water, we started working on our pop up and when our coach felt good about our pop up on the white water, he said, OK, you know, let's go out past the break so we can catch some of the they call them green waves, the unbroken waves. I'll pass the break. And so we've been surfing for a while, but most of the places that we go surfing, like almost all the places we go surfing, don't really have a break that is hard to get out past. So the break is where the waves are crashing and it, you know, becomes kind of consistent where like the waves crash. And that's called the break. And you have to get out beyond that, if you want to be able to catch these unbroken waves, and typically waves come in sets, and so you'll have three, you know, four or seven waves that will come, and there will be kind of a little bit of a break and then more waves will come. And so typically you're trying to kind of sneak out in that break, but even so you're often going to get caught in the break, and that's kind of part of like getting out past it. If you're on a short board, you can do what's called a duck dive. So if that wave is coming in and it's going to crash, you can duck dive under it. You can actually, like, take the the point of your, your surf, surfboard, the nose of your surfboard and duck and dive down underneath the wave as it like crashes. So you do this like little duck dive maneuver every time, and you can kind of, even when the waves are crashing, you can get out past the break.
With a long board, it's a little bit more challenging and both my husband and I ride long boards. Longboards are obviously bigger, they're a lot more buoyant, they're easier to get up on, which is why learners often start on the long board. But they're. But that's also a problem because they're a lot more buoyant. You can't really duck dive along board down under a big wave. So what you end up having to do is called turtle rolling. So if you imagine you're laying on your surfboard on your belly. And the wave is coming and it's crashing. What you do is you roll over so that the board is now on top of you and you're underneath the board in the water and you kind of pull the nose down of the board and kind of pull it down and, you know, the wave crashes up over your surfboard and you're like, underneath it. And then once the wave passes, then you roll back and you roll back up. And now your your belly is back up on the surfboard and now you can keep paddling and and try to paddle out so I don't have a ton of experience turtle rolling. I will say I didn't have a ton of experienced turtle rolling before we were on this trip because where we surf, you just don't really have to do it like the ways are really small. Break isn't very big. It's really close to shore. Sometimes you can literally like walk out past the break. Like that's how how, how close the the break is where we surf. So turtle rolling was kind of a new experience for me.
Wave collision mishap incident 25:23
So the first day we had to turtle a couple of times, but like I said, the conditions were beautiful. There was more time in between the sets and so I turned a couple of times but got out past the break. No big deal. Caught a couple of waves, was feeling really good, day was beautiful and then I caught one wave. I rode it in some ways and you know, part of you, when you catch a wave or this is this is how I am swimming out past the break is really tiring and it's exhausting and turtling is tiring and exhausting, and so when I catch a wave I'm riding the wave in, but I don't want to ride the wave too for too long, cause if I ride it too far in man now I have a hard time getting out past the break again. So it's like this balance between trying to enjoy the wave, ride it but not write it like on Infinity, because then I just know I have to like swim back and it's just a lot longer.
So anyway I caught this wave, rode it, you know, jumped off, turned around, started swimming back and I just got caught in a set. You know, I'm just like, fighting the set of waves, trying to get out past the break, getting tired, getting exhausted. And still I, you know, I'm still like a baby surfer. I don't really know exactly what I'm doing, I'm I'm trying my best to like remember all the knowledge that we've learned and like trying to implement it and what my coach told me and all these things and this big wave comes up. And I just remember like looking up, I'm trying to paddle out. Right. I just remember looking up and there were two people trying to catch this wave. And there was a guy on the right and a lady on the left. And the guy went left on the on the wave. And I don't know. I don't know if she didn't see me. I don't really know what happened. But she ended up like she was on a short board, too. She ended up going right into me, and luckily I had enough like wits about me again. I not like a professional surfer or anything but interest of imagination, but I at least had enough like self protective mechanism to take my long board and like put it in front of me as she's like coming towards me. So I put the longboard in between me and her and she literally like goes over over me over my longboard hits my longboard. We both come up sputtering. Her, her. It broke her fin completely broke off, it’s lost in the water. I look at my board. There's a huge gash in my board where you can just see the fin just sliced into my long board, cut it all up. She's mad because she lost her fin. Thankfully, she was concerned about me. She's like, are you OK? I'm like, yes, I'm OK. Are you OK? Yes, we're we're OK. Like I was a little shaken up. She was pretty mad about her, about her fin and, you know, somewhat rightfully so. I again, I totally take its responsibility for, like, not knowing exactly where I'm supposed to be in water and not knowing how to like, avoid people really well at this point. However, my coach reassured me that it was really her fault that she could see me. You can turn on a dime on a short board and she should have been able to go around me, so whatever we. It's not here to like not here to like place blame of me versus her, it happened.
Wave collision mishap incident 28:41
And so I had this big gash on my board and that's a problem because boards are made of foam and then like a epoxy hardness like like covers the foam. So when you get a ding in your surfboard, it cuts through that fiberglass and now you just expose all the foam, which obviously is not water resistant. And so now you get a lot of water in your board and kind of destroy your board so I was like, OK, great. I'm going to, I told my coach the coach was like, are you OK? Are you OK? OK. Well, like, like, shaken. But I was like, I'm gonna go in. I'm gonna talk to the coaches, see what they want to do with my board because it had this huge gash in it. So I went in and the coaches were really nice. They were more concerned about me than the board and what they ended up doing was just like covering it with some tape and then they'll say, well, we'll get repaired after the day, you know, go back out and, you know, finish up your surf session.
So I I did. I'm a little, like, flustered. I'm a little, like, definitely, like, some adrenaline is pumping from being through my body. At this point, because I was really scary, you can really get injured out on the surfboard. The most dangerous thing out in the water is you're board because the boards are heavy and they're hard and they, you know, if you get hit in the head with the board it's dangerous, the fins can hit you. Like managing your board and and being aware of the other people's boards around you is the most important thing to to stay safe when you're out in the water so I was like, OK, I'm going to go swim back out. And I had a I had a rough paddle out trying to get out past the break, and by the time I did, I was exhausted. I was emotionally exhausted. I was really, really, really scared as I tried to, like, paddle out that I was like, so super terrified about any anybody like near me? Right. I was like, I didn't want anybody to be near me.
I had a couple of experiences where, like, there were people not even very close to me, but kind of like trying to catch the wave as I'm paddling out and I just like flash back to that, that moment when I saw this woman like barreling towards me on this wave. And so I get up past the break and I just keep swimming, like swimming, like way out past the break because I don't want to be here near any waves. I like, don't want to be near anybody. I'm just like, still really going through it with with like the sphere that is coming up and I get out past the break and I just like break down. I just like start crying and ohh I'm like releasing like all the fear that, you know, I was feeling during that moment. It was kind of like it all kind of caught up to me after I did all the logical things of, like, making sure I was OK and going getting the board, taking care of and blah, blah, blah. And then I had a moment to, like, sit. And I just, like, broke down.
And I think my my coach was didn't really quite know what to do with it all. He was very he was very nice. He was like, you're not the first person who's had this happen me in the like breakdown out in the water and so I'm just like crying. And I just, I can't, you know, I can't catch my breath. I definitely am going through like trying to catch my breath trying to slow everything down and my coach was really good. He was like, take a deep breath like just kind of breathe through it like it's all, you know, all of that like fear is coming up and I was like, yeah, yeah. It is I'm I'm just really nervous to like, go and do anything else today. You know, we have a ton of time left and so we kind of I mean I probably was out there for 10 minutes crying on my board and finally my coach is able to kind of coax me to come in a little bit so I wasn't like so far out and I can't even remember what we did. I don't. I'm not even. Don't even remember. If I like caught waves after that. I think I caught a couple. But anyway it was. I was very scared. Very, very nervous, like nervous and it was just it was just kind of a traumatic experience. So we go in, we do the rest of the stuff. You know, I kind of talked to my husband about it and kind of share with him, like my experience, and everyone was really sympathetic and like, yeah, that's really scary and great.
Day 2 Experience 32:39
OK, now it's day two. I got to go back out, right? So I'm like trying to psych myself up for this and being like, OK, like I want to do this. I want to get better. I want to learn. But it's still really scary. So we get out on day two and like I said, day one ended up being like the easiest waves of the whole week. Day two was the hardest waves. Again, this is all retroactive, like me looking back and looking at each day. We didn't know this at the time, but day two was really one. And then we went from like 1 to like 10 in one day and the waves were super hard on day 2, Day 2 and I just had just like such a hard time like paddling out the waves were a lot closer to the other which makes the break like the break between waves a lot like shorter, which makes it harder to paddle out. We had to do a lot more turtle rolls and I just remember I don't know because my husband's bigger or what. But he like always makes it out past the break before I do. And so he got lucky. Like he kind of snuck out, passed the break. I got caught in the break turtle rolling and I just remember as I was just kind of like getting out there, my husband had been waiting for a while, but he was out there with the coach and he decided he was going to catch the wave that I was paddling out through and he didn't end up catching it. But he's he went for it. He started paddling. I all I see is like him coming towards me on this wave. I'm trying to paddle out and again all of my fear came back of that experience of like seeing that woman having her hit me like all of the trauma that came back with that, and I just, like, lost it. I was. I'm so mad at my husband. I was like, how could you do that to me? It was like the same experience, but now it wasn't just like some nameless woman. It was like my husband was coming towards me, was gonna, like, hit me with his board. He didn't. He was fine. But I lost it again. So now I'm like out pass the break again crying on my board. I'm like, is this gonna happen every freaking day? Am I Just gonna be out here? So much fear coursing through my body, so much like anxiety, we're living this traumatic moment like, why the heck am I even doing this? This is so dumb. I'm really thinking that this is so dumb and I'm like, super embarrassed because I like we paid all this money to come out of the surf trip. I'm just sitting out on my board. Just like crying. And it just it was a sight to see.
Overcoming fear through acknowledgment 35:05
So that was day 2. And you know, some of the things that I kind of want to like, go back and go, we're going to talk about fear and how we kind of overcome fear and and work through fear and some of the things that I, you know, I remember doing was trying to feel the fear. I think a lot of times with emotions we don't want to feel the negative emotions and so we try to push it down. We try to push it away. We try to like, tell ourselves to be happy and just kind of, you know, it's OK and kind of like you know, bird of our loins and whatever. And I did remember just being like it's OK, like, just feel the fear. Like, what does it feel like? Where is it in my body? For me it was like a really, really tight chest and it, like, comes up into my throat when I feel like the tears start to come and you know, just identifying. It's like like I am afraid. Right now I'm feeling fear. It makes a ton of sense. I had this kind of traumatic experience. I'm my brain is worried about it being repeated for good reason. You know, that is a fear of it is a risk of going out surfing and you know, so just trying to kind of sit with it, a lot of breathing. My coach was really good with like getting me to slow down my breathing and take a deep breath in and, you know, kind of just sit with it. So that was Day 2.
Day 3 Experience 36:18
Day three, I was like, OK, we're gonna do it today. We're not gonna cry. Kind of a darn day without crying. Come on. Day three was better. We would. I would call it a medium day. So day one was easy. Day two was hard. Day three was like a medium day, and I was. I didn't catch. I think I caught like I should go back. I think I caught like 3 waves kind of on day two, like 3 waves in, like the hour and a half that we were out there. Well, first of all, because I didn't want to go out past the break. I told my coach I was like, we're gonna be in the white water for a while. Like I gotta get my like feet back underneath me to even want to go out past the break. So maybe I just didn't catch very many waves that day. So day three, I was like, OK, I'm not gonna cry. I'm not gonna cry. Not gonna cry. Not gonna cry. And I I I don't even remember what happened, it probably was like the same experience of getting out past the break, man, it just was like it took everything out of me. I still had those flashback moments and I I do remember that like, I only slightly teared up this time. Like before it was like full on crying out on my board and this time it was only like wet ice and the fear like generating that kind of emotional response to me.
And I remember talking my coach. I'm like today, I only want to go for small waves, just small waves, only small waves. And the hard thing with small waves is that the further out you sit the typically like you're catching the bigger waves and the further out you sit, you're less likely to get smacked by a rogue wig wave. The further in you sit the further towards the shore you sit, you can catch some of the smaller waves. But then these big waves come, and now you're completely in the impact zone. Like you're right where that wave is going to crash. And so you can kind of shift in a little bit to catch a little bit smaller waves. But you got to be on high alert. Because big waves will eat you and have this happen to me on day three, where it's like, OK, I'm like I only want small waves. I only want small waves. He's like, OK, we have to go in a little bit to, like, catch these small waves. And so I'm like, we're kind of, like, tenuously like paddling. And because I know the closer I get to the shore, the more likely it is that like it might get thrown off my board. And so and that happened. We were like in and this rogue giant wave came and tried to paddle out pass it, did not got eaten by the wave. And if you've ever gotten hit with a big ocean wave, it is one of the most like the power that is stored in the waves is incredible. I side note I watch these like Netflix documentaries of people who go surf, like Maverick and I like. I like my brain, cannot even comprehend what it is like for these people to get, like, caught in those waves.
I remember I I watched a documentary and it was like people come out with like broken arms and limbs and legs and things like that because there's just so much power in the waves and these were not even that like waves. I'm telling you like they felt big to me, but my coach kept laughing when I was saying these are big waves. He's like, yeah, no, they're not really. He's like, they're to you. They're not really that big of waves. So anyway, I got eaten by wave, it sucks, you're just like completely turned upside down. You're just hoping, like, you're covering your head, you're hoping the board isn't gonna hit you, you have this board, you know, tied to your leg with the leash. And so then the, you know, you get caught and then the board get caught and then it pulls you. I mean it's just it's it's not my favorite thing in the world. I it's like a loss of control, a loss of just like having to kind of relax into the chaos. Actually remember that one experience where was like, I didn't pop my head didn't pop up quite as fast as I would have liked it to. Like, I wanted to get a breath. But I got pulled back under and I just remember like, you just can't fight it. Like there's you cannot fight the way. There's a thing you can do to fight it. It only makes it worse. It only makes you use more oxygen. And so I just had to like you just kind of got to relax, like relax into the chaos, relax into it. It's like there's no use fighting it. And I remember saying that to myself of like I wanted to breathe like I wanted to pop up and I just the the wave was not letting me and I just remember. OK, just relax into it. Take me where you gonna go? Like eventually, I'm gonna pop up and you know, of course I did. And I was fine. But man, like all of the fear came back in that moment and cried again third day in a row. I'm like holy freaking cow. Am I gonna, like, get through a day without crying? OK, so that’s day 3.
Day 4 Experience 41:13
Day 4. I'm like this is it. This is the day. This is the day I'm going to get through a session without crying. Still like the fear is a little bit, you know, gone down a little bit. I caught a couple of waves. That traumatic event is a little bit further in the past. This is the day. This is also like a medium day. And actually this day I was on I caught so many waves on this day. It was. It was definitely my best day. I mean, I probably caught 10 plus waves, which is a ton of waves for me to catch, way more than I caught on any other days. And I had my best ride. My longest ride like I've ever had in my life on this day like it was a good day. And I didn't cry. It was the first day that I didn't cry. However, something like not great happened. So let me tell you a little bit about like surfing etiquette.
Surfing Etiquette 42:06
So with surfing etiquette, there is the point. The peak of the wave and then the wave breaks and it either breaks right or it breaks left. And if it's, you know, breaking to the left, then the surfer wants to ride to the left and it's breaking the right. The surfer wants to ride to the right. Now when you're out there and you're trying to catch waves oftentimes multiple people are trying to catch the same wave. You know, there's not always you're. You're not always in the right. Quite the right position. And everybody's trying to catch waves when you're out there. So the etiquette is is that as you are paddling, the person who has priority for catching the wave is the person who is closest to the peak. So if the peak is breaking left and you have someone so that's you know, via the surfers perspective. So if it's breaking to my left and there is somebody on my right who is a little bit closer to the peak and they catch the wave. That's their wave. Even if I'm gonna catch it, because now it's dangerous for me to try and catch it like they're the one who has a better ride. You have more push when you're at the peak, like you have a better ride when you're at the peak, and so if that person who catches it closer to the peak, I, who was further away from the peak, it's should not take that wave, that's. It's rude. It's called dropping in on somebody, and it's bad etiquette.
So I mean, we learned this on like day one, right. And so you're like, OK, yeah, I, like, got it. Got it. Got it. When you were out there and you're a newbie like me and you're just scared. So much about the waves and, like, try to keep yourself safe and and trying to remember all the things that your coaches are teaching you and all the techniques. And like where am I arm supposed to be? And I keep my chest up when I pop up. I will tell you what my scope of focus goes like so narrow. Like so narrow and I just, I don't see anything else. So it happened this one time that I paddling for a wave, I'm oblivious to like anything else that's going on. You're supposed to look up and down the wave. It's kind of like, you know, looking both ways before you cross the street. I'm like, so in my head trying to think about all the other things that I like. Just I just didn't even see the person. So apparently I dropped in on this guy and who should have gone the wave. And I rode it and I like. It was awesome. It was awesome ride and like I did so good. It was like one of the last waves of the day. And and like, by the way my coach told me to go for this one.
I rode it in. I was like the end of the day I was like this is amazing. It's so great. Like what a great day. First day I didn't cry and then my husband comes in and he goes. Yeah. You dropped in on that guy. And I think he was a local, which is always like when you're surfing somebody else's and someone else's beach you always want to give priority to the locals because, like, that's their beach, you're a guest. It's like you're a guest at at their house. And so you want to, you know, just respect the people who who live there, who are locals. So he's a local. And he was mad. And not only was he mad, the friend he was with was, like, even madder. And I guess he, like, completely cursed out my coach. Like, just yelling and swearing. And like all these things about how I should have dropped in on him and blah, blah, I had, like, no idea this happened right, cuz I like. Like riding the wave of my life didn't even see the guy. Like just, you know, took the wave in and was like, feeling all great about myself. So my husband comes in and tells me and there, there, there come the tears. There come the tears. So like wasn't actually the day. I didn't cry. But I didn't cry out in the water. So it was, you know, we're moving up in the world.
Day 5 Experience 45:49
So that's day four and then day five, I was like come on. Please let this be the day that I don't cry out in the water. Day Five was another really hard day. And I just got caught. I made it out. Press a break. Like, really fast. The first time. Rode in a wave and just got caught. And I kid you not, I turtle rolled 20 times. I just got caught in this set and I turtle rolled 20 times. And if you have ever turtle rolled, it's exhausting. It's exhausting because you're on this board, you're paddling, which is tiring. You then have this huge wave coming towards you. You take a deep breath, you turtle roll down, the wave goes over you, you turtle roll back up. You like, wipe your eyes, try to start paddling and it's like. And then there's another wave and then you have to take any breath and turtle roll. And by the time you get back up, it's like another wave. Another wave, another way, and you're just it's exhausting, like, and often times you can do that a couple of times, and then you'll have a break in the set, and then you'll be able to paddle out. And this like set was just relentless. It was just like, I mean, I really triple rolled 20 times and I there was another another instructor and one of the other girls in our group who was also kind of caught in this set trying to get out past the break. And I was alone my because my coach was still out with my husband. And so I kind of like inched towards this, this coach, like hoping that they would help me, like, get out past what I don't know. He was going to do, but it just felt more comforting to be near somebody as I was trying to fight, fight the water.
And at one point I kind of got behind this girl and a wave was coming and the coach started yelling at me to, like, get out of the way and, like, move out and, you know, it's loud and you can't really hear anything. And he was absolutely right. I was not positioned well because again, like I said, the most dangerous thing when you're in the water is boards my board, someone else's board meeting you is is is the most dangerous thing and I was directly behind her. I was in not a very good position like he was absolutely right. I needed to move so that in case her board like I don't even think she had had her board. I think it was attached to her leg. But don't think she had it in her hands.
So I absolutely needed to get out of the way so that when the wave came like the board didn't hit me. So yeah, but he's like yelling at me and like telling me to move and like very aggressive because it was urgent. And so anyway, I moved, but I just, like, lost it. I'm like, so exhausted, like 20 turtle rolls in. Just got yelled at and I just was like, I can't do it, so I paddled back in and I just like hung out in the white water. Just kind of like brought everything back down. Hold that fear like this. This has really pushed me like every single day there has been something that I'm having to like, push myself up against. Was able to, like, take some deep breaths. My coach actually came back in was like, hey, are you OK? And like, was able to help me swim back out and we got back out.
Choosing Growth Over Fear 48:45
So five out of five. Five out of five days. Guys, I was, I was in it. I was dealing with the fear. I was crying out on the water every single time. So why am I telling you this story? Because fear is something that we all deal with and why did I keep going out like some of you may be saying, well, you're like you're kind of glutton for punishment, Amber. Like you didn't have to go back out like you could have sat on the shore. You could have not gone back out like again. That was a choice that I made. Why did you keep putting yourself in this place where it's like you're crying every single day. And it is because I wanted something more than the fear. Like what I wanted the learning, the experience, the education, the ability to be able to surf was more important to me than the fear that I was feeling in the moment, and I have learned. I learned very early on in my life that if I let fear drive the bus, I may stay more “safe”. But it will be at the expense of my growth, my fulfillment and the possibility of what I could be.
And I think so many of us live life based off of fear and letting fear drive the bus and letting fear keep us from things that could be incredibly fulfilling in our life. And yet we don't do it because of fear. We don't do it because we're afraid and I committed a long time ago that I didn't want that to be me. That I wanted to be someone who had a fulfilling life, who was committed to growth, who was willing to do the scary hard things that were that brought fear up in me because of what was on the other side of fear, and I think that there if you never are afraid and you're never doing that things that are fearful and you're only ever seeing inside your comfort zone. There's only so much growth and fulfillment that you can have. And it is when you step outside of that comfort zone and you start to feel fear. Yes, that you are now expanding your comfort zone. Yeah you are now in that growth zone.
Expanding comfort zone through fear 50:55
So I use this analogy a lot of imagining that when we are comfortable, you can imagine a person like a stick figure inside of a box, and inside that box is the comfort zone. And as long as you stay inside that that comfort zone you're there's a fear, right? You're very comfortable, your your brain is very familiar with this surrounding that knows exactly what to expect and and there's No Fear associated with it. And as soon as you step outside of that comfort zone, fear comes up your brain. Your brain feels that fear. It's now unfamiliar. It is now uncomfortable. And if you are, are able and willing to tolerate that discomfort, what happens is your brain starts to settle down, right? It feels fear. But then it becomes more familiar. It sees that you're not going to die, and now your comfort zone has expanded. So now what used to be in that uncomfortable fear based zone. Now that has expanded and you don't feel fear anymore now. You feel comfortable. And if we can continue to do that, we continue to step a little bit outside of our comfort zone and have our comfort zone expand it a little bit outside our compound, our comfort zone exam, now our comfort zone is much bigger and we're able to do much more. We're able to live a more fulfilled life. We're able to live so much bigger when we're willing to do that.
And that's something that I've been committed to for a really long time is like pushing myself, growing, being willing to feel the fear and do it anyway because I know on the other side of that is a lot of growth and a lot of fulfillment and realization of the strength that I have inside me, which is often we often under play or downplay, or don't realize the power and strength that we have inside of us. And so that's why I kept going back out there. It's like even though it was scary, even though every single day of this dancer trip, I cried out on my board, I wanted to be there. I wanted to learn. I wanted to expand my comfort zone, and I wanted to face this fear that I had and be able to do this really cool thing with my husband to be able to, you know, take the opportunity that was in front of me to have all this training and experience from people who knew what they were doing and who could really help me learn and grow.
Embracing fear to lead by example 53:02
But it wasn't a comfortable experience there. There was fun moments. Absolutely. But there's a lot of fear, there was some scary moments, there was a lot of my brain saying you can't do this. You can't catch this wave, this wave is too big, this wave going to eat you. What are you doing? Why are you trying to catch this wave? So I had to like fight that a lot and it it is far easier for me to tell somebody else to step outside their comfort zone. For then for it, it is for me to do it myself and I tell people step outside their comfort zones all the time. And this was quite the opportunity for me to practice what I preach and I think as coaches, it is incredibly important that we're willing to practice what we preach and if we don't practice what we preach, we are out of integrity and it lessens our ability to you know, teach, teach our things right. Nobody wants to take advice or education from somebody who doesn't actually do the thing that they're telling you to do. And so this was a beautiful opportunity and I recognized it about a couple days in of. This is a beautiful opportunity for me to feel that fear and to do it anyway because I tell people to do it all the time. And I have to be willing to do that myself. So to kind of wrap this up, this experience up into like 4 takeaways or four ways that I was able to move past this fear to do something that I really wanted to do and I hope by sharing this that whatever is scary for you, you know, leaving your job, entering the workforce, starting a new fitness plan, I'm joining a program, parenting your kids going and confronting somebody like these scary things that we feel fear about. I hope that it will allow you to be able to feel that fear and do it anyway.
First Takeaway: The Importance of Outcome 54:37
So four things that they came up with: Number 1, the outcome I wanted was important enough to me right, the outcome, think about whatever it is you're afraid of. What is the outcome that you're wanting and is it? Is it important enough for you is, is it worth going through the fear to achieve? And sometimes the answer may be no, because it doesn't really matter. It's not that important, but if it is and it is important that that pull of that outcome that you want can help you say, OK, I'm feeling fear and I'm going to step into it because on the other side of that fear is something that's really important to me.
Second Takeaway: Don’t Ignore the Fear 55:15
Number 2, I didn't try to ignore the fear. I tried to make friends with it. I tried to feel it. I again. It was like I named it. I said I'm feeling fear. Like that's what I'm feeling. I located where it was in my body. I located how it felt. I located the sensations that I was present to. I cried you know, I didn't try to hold it in. I full on cried out there in the middle of the ocean on my surfboard. And I think that that's really important. I think when we try to shove down negative emotions or we try to ignore or we try to not feel those negative emotions, they don't actually go away like that doesn't actually work. They pop back up because they need to be processed and they need to. The emotion is like a tunnel. You have to go through the emotion. And so I would say if you're, if there's something that you're feeling afraid about right now. Feel it. Don't make it wrong. Don't make it bad. The fear is there to, you know, is your brain trying to say, hey, this thing may be a little unsafe. The key with that, though, is that unsafe is exactly where growth is. Growth is inherently unsafe because it's something you haven't done before. Our brain really likes familiarity. It really likes things that are repeatable, that we've done before and you know, growth is not that way. It's inherently new. It's inherently, you know, fear fearful. Our brain gets fearful of these of these new spaces.
Third Takeaway: Keep Moving Forward 56:37
Okay, so number 3, I kept moving forward. It was like. And and honestly like during the session, sometimes I would pull back a little bit like I would say, OK, I'm not ready. I'm not ready to go for a way right now. And I would paddle out a little bit further and like sit on my board and I just like be there and experience it. I'm not ready to go for a wave, but then I would, you know, get get my bearings on me. And I would say, OK, I'm ready to go for another wave. Let's, let's try to get a small wave. I kept taking steps to move forward, and I kept pushing myself to do that. Not in a stupid way, not in a like magic Mystic way like in a way of like, OK, I want to keep making progress. I want this thing that feels uncomfortable to eventually feel comfortable and in order for that to happen, I have to sit in the discomfort. And so, yeah, sometimes I said I was ready to go when I wasn't quite ready to go because I knew that that forward momentum was going to to get me to that place of comfort with the discomfort.
Fourth Takeaway: Celebrate Facing the Fear 57:33
And then #4, I celebrated facing the fear. Whether or not like I, whether or not I caught the wave, even just me going for the wave was something I would celebrate, especially when I was like, really trying to get back on the saddle and I was really in my fear about the waves feeling really big and getting eaten by the waves. I celebrated even just paddling after a wave and there were a couple times I actually remember one time when I got out past the break this is probably on day 2 and I was out there crying and I was like, OK, I'm ready. I'm ready to, like, give it a shot. Give it a try. I paddled it a little bit and I the very first wave, I said I was ready to take. I paddled on it and I just, like, wanted to look. I just want to, like, kind of look over the wave. So I like paddled and then just kind of like looked and then went back and I was like OK, I did that first step of like paddling with the wave.
Okay. The next one I'm gonna, like, get up to the peak and I'm like, I'm not going to drop down. I'm just going to like, again kind of feel it, feel like look and see people around me and like, just feel what, that that next step feels like and then I'm going to OK, I did that and then it was like the third time I was like, OK, this time I'm gonna. I'm gonna try and stand up, but I'm gonna, like, actually, I think I went to my knees next. I was like, I'm not gonna stand up on this one. I'm gonna go on my knees. So then I caught the wave, like on my knees. And then it was like, the fourth time I caught on feet. And so it was like this progression of just continuing to keep moving forward and but like celebrating every single one of those milestones, right? It's like even though previously I was jumping up and catching waves, no big deal. Like I was celebrating even just like going after a wave and I think really being kind with yourself and celebrating. Just even the fact that, hey, I'm feeling afraid and I'm doing this anyway. And regardless of the outcome, that is important and that is worth celebrating. That is you feeling the fear and you doing it anyway. And that's an amazing thing.
Final Thoughts 59:25
Okay, so this ended up being way longer than I thought it was. I was like, oh, this will probably like be like a 20 minute episode. I apparently have a lot more to say on this topic than I thought, but I hope that this was fun. Overall, the experience was really great. I learned I can't even tell you how much I learned in like a one week period of intensive time, and I think it also just goes to show when you have a really good teacher and you have a really good coach. The amount of progress you can make in one short week was like equivalent to like years of trying to do it on my own, years of watching YouTube videos, years of like this, you know, DIY-ing. And I think about that with my my clients and how they say often the same thing there like I've been trying to do this on my own for years, Amber and joining MACROS 101. And you know the time that we spent together accelerated and exploded my growth and my ability to be able to actually implement the things that I've been learning.
So if that's you and you're wanting help in your health and fitness journey, you're wanting to learn how to be able to use macros and be able to become macro scientist to be able to customize your nutrition to your goals and then you're going to get on the wait list for MACROS 101, doors open very soon on March 4th you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist to come and join us. Alright, that wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go on and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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