I am a self-diagnosed sufferer of FOMO, which is a social anxiety disorder that often leaves me in a state of nervousness or fear that I might miss out on an interaction or an experience, usually related to a run or an event. Yes, FOMO stands for fear of missing out, and I have got it bad. (The opposite to FOMO is FOBIA, fear of being invited anywhere)
Warning signs of FOMO include:
- Sore index fingers from hitting the refresh button while waiting for race entries to open
- Not taking rest days when you know you need one, because friends are running and you don’t want to miss out on a group run
- Signing up to every single running event that you logistically and financially can make it to.
My FOMO was evident today, when I made a last minute decision to sign up to the North Face 100km event next May. I had not really contemplated it until this morning. The reason I had not previously considered it was because I have already committed to 4 marathons in the 2 months prior to this event, and I will be spending about 1 month overseas, and arriving back into Australia about a week before the event. I was considering doing the 50km event, because I could probably survive that on my training base from the other marathons…. But at the last minute, I thought, “when did I start doing things by halves?” Sure, I might not finish. But….. I might be able to do it! The possibility of success is more enticing than the fear of failure. So I signed up! Before anyone had the chance to try to convince me that I’m not capable. Before anyone had a chance to plant a seed of doubt in my mind, that I might not be able to finish something. I might be. You don’t know unless you try.
So, where did I get my FOMO from? I remember back in school, being frustrated at the people who would always talk about doing things, but never got anything done. Or the people who would pull out of everything, at the last minute. I made a consious decision to start doing more. Somehow, that has turned into ‘MUST do everything that enters my mind, don’t say no to anything!’
Now…. 2014 is shaping up like this….
- 8th March – 6 Foot Track Trail 45km
- 6th April – Newcastle Marathon
- 21st April – Boston Marathon
- 4th May – Vancouver Marathon
- 17th May – North Face 100km
Bring on 2014… I have a feeling it’s going to be bigger and better than 2013!
DISCLAIMER… I don’t advocate signing up to events like this without adequate preparation or against medical advice… I know my limits, and yes, I push them, but i do not shoot for something that is way beyond the realm of ‘capable’.