Gut Checks And Other Critters

Over the weekend, I watched a little something on Netflix about the Special Operations Executive, or SOE. This was a group that led to the U.S. created the OSS, which is the predecessor to the CIA.

The show was a unique blend of documentary and reality television. It took modern folks, dressed them in 1940s clothing and then put them through the training of an SOE agent.

During the show, there was an exercise where the agents had to travel across a rather cold lake. One of the participants, however, had a phobia of open water. She was terrified. The thought had her shaking, she was petrified of going across that lake.

She went anyway.

As I watched it, I couldn’t help but think about her courage–and that was real

But it also made me think about how I probably need to find opportunities to introduce more gut checks into my life.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a certain amount of gut checking involved in training with weights. Especially when you train outside and the weather is less than cooperative.

I don’t think it’s the same thing, though.

Oh, sure, the first time you do it, it’s a big deal. After that, though, it’s not. It’s just a thing you do and while it might mark you as “tough” to some people, it’s not the same thing as enduring something horribly unpleasant for the first time. Especially if it’s not really that unpleasant anymore.

After I got used to training with the weather, it wasn’t a gut check. It wasn’t anything except training.

That means I probably need to seek out new gut checks.

Of course, that leads to the inevitable questions of, “Why?” Those are fair enough.

Here’s the thing to remember regarding unpleasant experiences. The more you deal with them, the more confidence you build in your ability to deal with unpleasant experiences. That means new difficulties become less terrifying, simply because you’ve dealt with gut checks so more you no longer doubt you have the capacity to push through frightening situations.

Right now, I’m thinking about what I really hate and trying to figure out how to gut check through it.

For example, I’m allergic to yellow jackets. The doctor told me the allergy may extend to other stinging insects like bees and wasps. As a result, I’m terrified of them.

So why not embrace this by taking part in someone’s bee keeping effort? Obviously, due to the life-threatening nature of this, I’d need protection, but I’d still have to be close to something I’m terrified of.

Oh, I suspect I’d only do it once, but that would probably be enough.

I’m also not a fan of cold, so why not set up an ice bath to dip into? While the benefits of cryotherapy are less than proven, to say the least, I think this

If it also helps with recovery from training, then so be it.

Regardless, though, because it’s unpleasant and something I generally try to avoid, it’ll be a fantastic way to push myself to deal with something unpleasant.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no interest in enjoying discomfort. That’s masochism and I’m not really into that kind of thing.

But what I am interested in is coming to terms with my own nature. You see, like a lot of people, I really enjoy comfort. That’s not really unusual. Most of us prefer to be comfortable.

The problem is that we become so used to comfort that we completely lose the ability to deal with disc

Of course, this is easier said than done. After all, I can write this down and say I need to do it, but the hard part is actually doing a

You and I both know how often we tend to hear the word “later” and decide that even later is better. Later becomes “never.”

And that’s a problem.

After all, this woman who was so terrified of the open water was a grandmother. She was a drama teacher. She wasn’t a warrior or someone who sought to be a warrior. She was just who she was, and she faced her fears and changed herself in the process.

The least I can do is push myself to do even more.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

One thought on “Gut Checks And Other Critters”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *