I wish, sometimes, that I was more of a bad%$#.
We are getting close to my husband’s race, and I have volunteered to design a shirt logo for the group of folks that my husband is running with. Next, we’ll put the design on some tank tops, with some names on the back, and voila! #BeastMode team duds! I am so proud of my man for working hard for this goal, and I want to support him and make it as fun as possible. (I also am compelled to organize, and my OCD is kicking into high gear. I’m already creating a packing list. On this list are many wet wipes, throw-away towels, and plastic bags for nasty, sweaty, muddy clothing. Just call me M.O.M.)
I am caught up in the excitement of the final preparations, and kind of wishing I could be more in shape and more courageous to run as well. I know I am not ready for something like a 10 mile run up and down a mountain interspersed with obstacles like underground tunnels, ice cold water, logs to carry, massive walls, water, and more mud than a tractor pull in Springtime. But…
Part of me is fantasizing about it.
This race would be a huge undertaking, and for me, it would be a &$%# -my-panties scary personal challenge. I hear you asking “Why? Just nut up and do it, girl! RARRR!” Yeah… not so simple. Not in the least bit simple. And there is a big boogeyman reason.
I am afraid of water.
More specifically, I am afraid of putting my head under water. Anytime it happens, I have a massive, hyperventilating, shaking, panic and flail reaction. I only passed the first Red Cross swim level (They had badges back then, I think Yellow was the first level?), I never took lessons after about fourth grade, and while growing up, was not allowed near water without my life jacket. Swim in the lake? Not without my life jacket. Jump off a dock? Are you mad? My Mom would have freaked the &$@% out. My parents never addressed my fear (they may have enabled it just a wee bit), and all I can remember from my very last swim lesson is being curled up, sobbing and shivering beside the pool when the instructor told us to do head bobs underwater. I was yelled at, and finally the instructor just gave up and ignored me for the lesson. I was inconsolable, and refused to get back into the water.
So jumping off a platform into water, or diving under barrels and plywood boards is something that I have always had on my “Nien! Verboten!” list. I can handle mud and guck, I can carry logs around (we heated our house with wood when I was wee, I can haul wood around, thankyouverymuch). I could even power through the electric dangly-bits obstacle (Pfft, its just like being thrown into an electric fence by your horse! Right?). But dunking under and into muddy, churned up, ice cold water?
Yeah… I’d be gibbering on the sidelines, given my current phobia’s status.
So the question is, is it possible to learn, now, as an adult? Can I move past it and gain enough confidence to actually take on a race like this someday? Or as a starting point, get in a pool and actually swim? I’ve always sunk like a stone when I tried to actually swim, but this may be because I do not know how. I can tread water, I can
flail and splashdoggypaddle, but swim a lap? Ummm… riiiight.
I’ve carried this fear with me since I was a child. Can I truly get past it?
I have no idea. I don’t even know where to start. Do you think they do swimming lessons for wimpy people like me? Most kids by age six can swim circles around me, I am most definitely not the norm. (Read: I do not want to take swim lessons with tiny kids). I know my husband would teach me, but for some reason, I don’t want him to. I feel like I let him down with this fear I have, since he loves swimming so much. I don’t think it would be benificial to our marriage to have him get frustrated with me when trying to get me to simply dunk my head. Sometimes I think he doesn’t understand my fear. “Just get in!” doesn’t work with this. I’ve tried that.
It was not pretty.
So I’ll be watching on the sidelines soon, and doing battle in my head about my abilities and their limits. A big part of me wants to try and beat it. I mean, come on… I can happily travese some of the tamer waterslides, and I do like going out on a boat. I like wading and playing in water… and HELLO!!! I crossed the Rideau Canal locks this year, which is a Big Deal™! So conquering my fear of water and learning to swim? Epic. Bucket list epic, and perhaps a mite bit closer than before.
Do one thing a day that scares you. This is one of my mantras as I transform myself, and try to be more healthy, fit, confident, and yes… Bad%$#.
But on the list of things that scare me? This is the biggie.