There comes a time in your life when you must overcome your fears. Many of these are from childhood and are due to bad memories. I remember when I was learning how to swim, my head went under the water for the first time and I panicked. I didn’t have the right instinct for it and stopped dead in my tracks. My mother was mortified and begged me to give it another try. The same thing happened and the panic was even worse. Because of my long-time fear of the water, I now can’t go with friends when they want to snorkel and steer a kayak. They have vacations in the sun without me. I regret missing out to this day. I am cut out of a great part of their water world. I envy those people who grew up swimming and diving in the backyard. They can surf at the beach or enjoy a hotel pool. The most I do is sit quietly and sip a soda as I watch others frolic about.
My friends haven’t given up asking me to come along, hoping that I will overcome my phobia eventually. I am tired of refusing. As a result, I have decided to take swimming lessons once and for all. It is hard for an adult, but it must be better than when I was a tot. This assumption turned out to be correct. I had a very patient instructor who was used to dealing with adult fears. We worked slowly step by step. I waded in the water, then dunked my head, then learned how to tread water and dog paddle. So far so good. I progressed quickly to performing the crawl. When that was mastered I moved on to the backstroke. There will be more in due time, but I was satisfied enough at this point. I practiced for a few days on my own and my teacher was impressed. Before I knew it, I was a true Salty Dog.
Now it was my turn to suggest a water recreation outing for my friends. As the weather was glorious, we made plans to go in a few days. It was vacation time and I splurged by joining them on a flight to Hawaii. The reefs are magnificent for snorkeling. I rented a facemask and some fins and I was all set. The water was shallow and not at all threatening and I had a marvelous time. I said I would be willing to go deeper to test my new skills. You will soon see a picture of me in all my regalia on Instagram so I can prove to the world that I have arrived. I can swim with ease and dive when needed. I am no pro but a good amateur. The moral of this blog is that you can overcome fears as I have shown and that it takes willingness and a pinch of moxie.