Kick That Fear Away

by Ryan Nielsen

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    At the tryouts, I learned that the key word is try. Prepare, give it your best, and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

    I have always had a fear of the unknown. Because of this fear, I have given up many good opportunities to learn and grow. But I came to understand that I can overcome my fear simply by being prepared and then trying.

    My mother picked me up in front of the high school, and we headed for home. She asked, “Well, how did tryouts go?” I had talked about trying out as a kicker for the football team.

    “They don’t start until four o’clock,” I answered slowly. “I’ve decided not to try out. I wouldn’t make it. I’m not good enough.” As I continued to give my reasons, my mom stopped the car, quickly turned around, and drove back towards town.

    “Why don’t we get something to eat and talk this over? The only way to know for sure if you could have done it is to try out,” Mom said.

    Fortified with my favorite fast-food meal and Mom’s encouragement, we drove back to the school. I had played soccer since I was five and had been told I had a good leg and a “big foot.” I had learned to kick fairly well that summer at an Explorer Scout tournament. I was nervous as tryouts began, especially when I saw all my old soccer teammates who also had strong legs.

    My time came to kick, and I did amazingly well. I found out later that my mom and sister had been watching and cheering me on from the other side of the field as I sent footballs soaring through the uprights. I ended up playing for three years of high school and felt good about my participation and improved talent.

    I also learned that day the meaning of Doctrine and Covenants 38:30, [D&C 38:30] “… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” It gave me the courage to try in other areas of my life. When I served my mission, I knew that if I prepared myself by studying and doing what I should, I need have no fear.

    Illustrated by Steve Kropp