Just keep swimming

Since I was young, I have had a love-hate relationship with water. On one hand I loved playing in the pool, pretending I was a mermaid, on the other hand I got fearful as soon as the water got deeper. There is something about that sensation of not being able to touch the ground, and even worse, not being able to see my feet!! And I’m also not a strong swimmer. It also didn’t help when I saw the movie ‘Jaws’ when I was younger. After I watched the movie, I was even scared of sitting on the toilet, scared that Jaws would come out, hahaha. I love this movie now! And of course, now I can see that it’s all special effects. For that time actually really impressively done!

Over the years, I’ve been to many places with big pools and beautiful beaches, and sometimes I could convince myself to go for a swim. But as soon as I couldn’t feel the bottom anymore, panic started to set in and my toes cramp up! A couple of years ago, a lifeguard at a swimming pool (!) had to drag me out of the water because I had a cramp in my toes (both feet) and couldn’t get to the edge of the pool. Very embarrassing! 

During our travels, I almost never went past waist deep, when we were at a beach, except when we were snorkeling and the one time we went swimming with dolphins in the open sea. I remember jumping into that big ocean, not being able to see anything. The current was so strong! It was really scary, but when we saw the dolphins, I forgot my fears for a few minutes. Until I felt a sharp pain! What the …! Jellyfish! Really tiny ones and they stung! Ouch! I didn’t know how fast to get out of the water. This wasn’t my first encounter with jellyfish. I’ve been stung 3 times. Very painful! This is probably one of the reasons why I don’t like being in deep waters, because you never know what’s underneath you, and if I can’t see it, it feels scary. Even when I could still feel the bottom, but not able to see my feet.  

Reading this, it sounds so silly. I mean, what are the chances of a shark or any other scary animal biting or stinging you? Being stung 3 times over the course of 40 years, is not a lot. It makes no sense to be scared of the water! And because of this fear, I missed out on some really amazing experiences!

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting older, but I realize that I don’t want to let irrational fear control my fun. So, this Summer I actually went further into the water and also played in the waves! Yes, I was also scared of big waves! But it was so much fun! Why didn’t I do that before?! Life is too short, and I want to enjoy it to the fullest! I’m not saying, I’m going to do stupid or dangerous stuff, but not letting this irrational fear getting in the way anymore.

Do you have any irrational fears? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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