Faced My Fear

I’ve had a fear of water for a very long time. I’m talking about large bodies of water like the ocean or rivers and lakes, especially if I can’t see the shoreline.

Not sure where this fear comes from because I can swim but I don’t do it often. I’d rather bake on the beach then go swimming.

I think it’s not so much the fear of water but more the fear of drowning because drowning would be a terrible way to die, don’t you think?

Funny the things we say to ourselves. No one told me I couldn’t go swimming or boating because I might drown. The only person saying those things to me was me.

Of course I believed me and only I stood in the way of going kayaking with my hubby or swimming at the beach or snorkeling.

It was time to start telling myself a new story.

I really wanted to go kayaking but I knew my hubby wasn’t the person to teach me, someone who doesn’t know me would make a better teacher.

Low and behold Lums Pond State Park just so happen to be having kayaking lessons on Memorial Day weekend.

Of course I procrastinated about actually doing this and didn’t sign up until 2 days before the class. Luckily it wasn’t filled.

Again, my other half chimed in to let me know “You can’t do this, make up an excuse, just blow this off, you can stay home and do nothing”.

“No” I said to myself, “there’s no opting out this time” and off I went.

I was scared at first and for a few minutes I thought I was going to have a panic attack but I didn’t.

I took deep breathes and told myself “You can do this, Yes you can” I listened to the instructors who by the way were great! climbed into the kayak and started paddling.

Yeah, I made a few mistakes by not keeping up (I have to work on my paddling skills) and steering the kayak the wrong way but I stayed in the boat and didn’t drown, Mission accomplished!

Once I was out in the middle of the pond I started to feel a calming sensation come over me.

I always feel better when I’m outside in nature but this feeling was different, one I hadn’t felt before so I stopped paddling and listened to the birds overhead, the dogs barking over at the dog park.

I watched a turtle swam by and started laughing along with those zipping across the pond on zip lines as they were hooting and hollering, loving their adventure just like I suddenly realized I was loving my adventure too.

Zip Line across Lums Pond

Awesome feeling, must be that mind – body – nature connection I’m reading about here.

So I did it, I went kayaking and I lived to talk about it.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, funny how that is. When it’s in your head it’s ten times worst than in reality. That’s why they say you should write down a worst case scenario about something you really want to do but are holding back for one reason or another.

In my case the worst case scenario would have been I drown. Well that would have been hard to do since I was wearing a safety vest, I can swim and the pond isn’t more than 5 feet deep.

Also there was an instructor in front of me and one behind me and yeah it could’ve still happened but I think it’s more likely to happen when I’m out on a river which will not be happening any time soon.

Taking baby steps here 🙂 For now I’m sticking to the pond.

So what do you tell yourself? Do you talk yourself out of doing something you really want to do but you’re afraid, like me, that something bad might happen or maybe someone told you you couldn’t do it?

Let me know in the comments below or talk to me on social media @tinaoutdoors and let me know what you’re afraid of doing. Would love to chat about how you overcame your fears.

aka @tinaoutdoors
P.S. We’re in the market for a new kayak, I like this one for the both of us.

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