Why is it I run/bike/swim? Is it because I love being out of breath, is it because I really enjoy that taste of blood I sometimes get? Is it because I love the feel of lactic burn in my legs…nope, none of those, it’s basically down to FOMO…( that’s Fear Of Missing Out for those of you who have better things to do with your time than figure out what these hip and a happenin’ acronyms mean)
So, when someone said to me “Heh, do you fancy cycling from John O’Groats to Carlisle in four days, my brain was saying “Erm, no, I think I’d rather poke hot needles in my eyes thank you!”… but what actually came out of my mouth was my FOMO voice: “Oh yes please, that sounds fantastic, I’d love to chafe my way down through Scotland, now where do I sign up?” And so the training began…and boy were my bits sore (Chamoix cream by the bucket load helped), thanks a lot FOMO, where were you when the cream needed applying? But you know what, you were right FOMO, the sense of achievement stays with me now and gives me one hell of a #storytotell (and the saddle sores have almost gone…)
When on holiday with my family in Provence, quietly minding my own business, sunning myself by the pool when a friend pitched up with his family and announced “See that mountain over there, that’s Mount Ventoux, I’m going up that tomorrow on my bike”…did I say “Wow, go you, give us a wave from the top; I’ll be down here by the pool topping up this enviable tan”…nope, FOMO suddenly emerged from the pool and said “ But, how can you miss out on the horror of climbing a mountain constantly, with no let-up in the incline for over 2 hours in 90 degree heat?”…so off to the bike hire shop I went…and was it as hideous as I expected? Well, not really, it was incredibly tough; you were right again FOMO, I felt awesome at the top.
When invited to be part of a team for one of those 20 mile obstacle courses with mud, mud and water mixed with mud, did I say “You know what FOMO, hyperthermia is overrated as far as I’m concerned; I’ll stay home that weekend and poke the fire instead”? Nah, my hypothermic loving FOMO voice said “Oh, me please, I’d love to get so cold I think I’m going to pass out and for my Raynaud’s syndrome to kick in so badly I’ll lose all sensation in my arms!” Yes, I know FOMO, the feeling in my arms soon returned and I suddenly appreciated my upper limbs so much more…and I’ve been reliving my experiences ever since; it seems you were right again FOMO.
And every time my increasingly quick daughter says “Mum, will you run with me today, I would like to get a PB?”…do I say “Actually darling daughter, the thought of running 5k at your pace and wanting to vomit from the 2nd minute in is soooo last year for me; how about you ask your dad…?” You guessed it, FOMO voice says “What kind of a mother are you, that would miss an opportunity to spend such quality time with you talented daughter and assist her in achieving her aim”…Yes, I know FOMO, you’re right, to share with her on her journey has been a privilege.
So, I guess what I’ve learned is that, if channelled positively, FOMO can take you on the most incredible journeys which expose you to situations and experiences you never dreamed of while creating the most incredible #storytotell. That said, hyperthermia and saddle chafing are definitely overrated…. Good old FOMO, you know best…