Don’t Let Fear Stop You in Your Tracks

Two years ago, while hunting for whitetails in Idaho, I decided to pursue a monster buck my
husband had seen the previous weekend. The only catch: the five train trestles between me and
my quarry, and I was terrified of heights. The mere thought of crossing the ancient wooden
trestles put a knot in my stomach. The gaps between the ties were wide enough for my feet to
fall through should I make a single misstep.
I felt my heart racing in my chest and my legs turning to Jello as I stood before the
snow-covered train trestle that spanned the raging creek and icy boulders far below. After
surveying the situation and realizing there was no way to get to the buck’s hideout without
crossing the trestles, I gritted my teeth and took a tentative step onto the first trestle. Trying to
block out the vision of my body plunging to its death through the wide gaps between the
railroad ties, I focused my thoughts on the giant buck. Taking a deep breath and gripping my
rifle tightly in my sweaty palms, I took another careful step onto the next railroad tie. I forced
myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other until, after what seemed like an eternity, I
triumphantly stepped onto solid ground once again. One trestle down, four to go!
I conquered the next three trestles without losing my nerve and it was with a renewed sense of
confidence that I approached the fifth and final trestle. But to my dismay I realized that it was
the longest and tallest trestle yet. Looking down at my feet, the gaps between ties appeared
even farther apart than they were on the earlier trestles and I envisioned myself crashing to my
death even as I stood there, trying to decide what to do. I chickened out.
Feeling defeated, I turned back in the direction I had come. As I approached the last trestle I
had crossed, I realized I had to confront this ridiculous fear. I could not let these trestles defeat
me and keep me from my trophy buck! So I turned around and headed back to face my
nemesis. When I found myself once again looking across the trestle’s long span, I told myself
“Just breathe! You can do this” and stepped semi-confidently onto the trestle’s first tie….
As it turned out, I did see a couple of nice bucks but didn’t take one that day. However, I took
home a greater prize from that hunt: I triumphed over my fear by not letting it keep me from
doing something I love!
Since that day, I have crossed many trestles and with each one, my level of anxiety has gone
down significantly. Last fall, I went a step further and hunted for the first time from a tree stand
with a level of comfort and confidence I never thought possible. I have indeed conquered my
fear of heights, thanks to the sport that continues to give me so much more than meat in my

Feb 27, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 2


2 comments on “Don’t Let Fear Stop You in Your Tracks

  1. Annie

    Thank you Thia for this inspirational read. You are a true inspiration to me and could not begin how you have helped me pursue my dreams. Your strength and confidence is something I strive to have and having a great role model like you only makes each “trestle” in my life that much easier!

  2. Thia

    Awww!! Thank you!!! I am so honored to be able to help you in your quest for your dreams! You are and will continue to be a success!!

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