FLASHDANCING ON WATER
"Tell us your phobias, and we will tell you what you are afraid of." ~Robert Benchley
Mr. Benchley (whoever he is) was on to something. Since I don’t see any volunteers to list their phobias, I guess I’ll start.
Bridges over water scare me.
It doesn’t matter if I’m driving the car or not, I still can’t abide traveling across water. And the bridge doesn’t have to be high above the water like Annapolis Bridge, which crosses the Chesapeake Bay. (I hate that bridge.) I can’t abide the underwater tunnel leading to the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area either. Every time we drive through it, I have mental images of leaking cracks. I swear one day I’ll see a crack. I will.
And another horrid bridge is the one leading from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. The swampy water is practically level with the road. That’s just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I swear I will never travel that road again. An alligator can just crawl up…. OMG, I don’t even what to think about it.
Bridges not over water scare me, too.
I don’t like bridges, okay?! You drive off and you’re dead. I’m just not into traumatic deaths.
Swimming in the ocean, the gulf, or a sea.
I’ll just leave it at sharks, eels, jellyfish, and octopus, and let your imagination talk hold.
Swimming in a lake or a river.
I have two words for you: Human-eating bass.
Doesn’t matter that you’ve never heard of human-eating bass. Sure as the sun rises in the morning, the day I go swimming in a lake, some mutant bass will decide my toes are an all-you-can-eat buffet. I’m so not into that. If I’m going to swim, I want to see what’s at the bottom of the pool.
Parachuting, para-sailing, or anything anywhere near related to that.
Splat! Did you ever see the episode of SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN when Steve’s girlfriend, Jamie Summers, did the pavement tango? I did. Real life isn’t television. One splat and the show’s cancelled. No one can bring you back to life as the Bionic Woman. Not that that wouldn’t be nice.
Hmm, more fears…. Gee, I think those are all my fears. So, Mr. Benchley, what am I afraid of?
Death? Wrong! I’m not afraid of death. I know where my eternal destiny lies. I just don’t like pain. My fear of bridges and water stem from my desire to…you know, this article really isn’t working for me.
"Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it." ~Camus
Oh, shut up, Mr. Camus.
Human-eating bass isn’t a philosophy to justify my fear of lake water. Let’s be realistic. Who want to swim in a fish’s toilet?
Don’t laugh at me, Mr. Camus.Okay, I’m a coward. My fears are merely outlets of my cowardice, of my unwillingness to take risks. Fine. Does my admission make you happy?
My fear of bridges comes from my fear of not being in control. When someone else is driving me over the bridge, I’m quite nervous, but when I’m driving over the bridge, I’m far less nervous. Parachuting and para-sailing force me to put my life in the hands of someone or something else, too. I could never parachute because I’d spend all my time second-guessing that my parachute was packed correctly. Deep down inside I don’t trust my own judgments. I fear being wrong.
I fear being wrong because if I’m wrong, then I’ll be embarrassed, and I fear embarrassment. If I’m ever embarrassed, I won’t admit it. It’s too embarrassing.
Since my husband bought us a pair of Sea Doos, he’s been begging me to get over my fear of lake water. Excuse me, it’s not the water I fear, it’s the things in the water that could eat me. (For those of you who don’t know, a Sea Doo is a brand name for a personal watercraft. Other familiar names are Jet Ski and Waverunner.) I hated riding behind him. I’d never make it on a tandem bike either.
Nevertheless, when hubby let me drive my own Sea Doo, I loved it. I became a crazy Sea Dooing momma. I even drove the thing at top speed. I’m a maniac, maniac on the water, and I’m driving like I’ve never driven before.
I was zooming and zagging and zipping across the lake.
The wakes were my playground. I had form. I had game. I had skills, and, trust me, guys like girls with skills as much as girls like guys with skills.
My eleven-year-old daughter loved the moves I was making. I was Michelle Kwan on a Sea Doo.
Yep. Dorky me somehow managed to throw my daughter AND myself off the Doo. And this Scooby Doo when Scooby Down. My hair got wet. My face got wet. But I didn’t lose my sunglasses. Didn’t I tell ya I’ve got skills?
Interesting thing is no human-eating bass ate me. My lifejacket worked. My daughter was laughing not crying.
We got back on the Sea Doo and met up with the rest of our group. As I gassed up the Doo to top speed, I realized that my flying off the Sea Doo was kinda like death. Too many people fear death, but when it happens, it’s so quick you don’t have time to think. There’s nothing to fear on the other side.
"There’s nothing I’m afraid of like scared people." ~Robert Frost
I have fears, but I’m not a scared person. Yet to many times I miss out on wonderful opportunities and experiences because I fear what could happen. I unwisely let my fear of failure and embarrassment hold me back.
Ride a rollercoaster. Talk to a total stranger. Wear something new and different, something so "not you." Take a Foreign Language class. Be the first person to talk instead of the last.
Whatever your fear, step outside it.
Better to try and fail then to never try and regret it the rest of your life.
Just make sure you are wearing a lifejacket if you’re going anywhere near water. And don’t run with scissors.