Irrational Fear Week – Day 2: Water
Each day this week I’ll write a post about a fear that I used to have (some I still have) and how I have dealt with it in order illuminate some of the strange things we allow to get in between us and living a full and productive life.
I am a drowning survivor. I’ve written about this before. When I as 5, I drowned in a pool. They found me unmoving at the bottom, pulled me out and my mother revived me by performing CPR (thanks mom!). Because of this trauma, it took me 22 more years until I learned to swim. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of effort to develop some facility in the pool.
When I finally signed up for adult swimming classes, I still struggled with my fears. Before each class, I would sit in the locker room, filled with dread, not wanting to go out there. The fear wasn’t just how helpless I felt in the water, it was also fear tinged with shame. For some odd reason, I felt ashamed that I couldn’t swim.
Each time I did it, however, I grew more comfortable. Each time I got a little bit better.
Now, I love the water. I love moving through it. I love swimming under it. I love everything about what water teaches me: that you usually move faster the more you relax. I am still scared of deep water areas with limited visibility. Swimming in the ocean or a lake still gives me pause, but put a mask on me and give me an open lane and I am happy man.
I find it interesting that something that filled me with such dread gives me so much pleasure now.
Ever since I learned to swim, I have changed my view on my fears. I’ve started to think that if I can face my fears, maybe there is something amazing on the other end of each and every one of them.
See you tomorrow for Day 3!