3 years passed since I started paragliding because I was extremely afraid of heights. And it was about time to address a new fear: my enormous fear of water. To be very clear: I was born in a city near the Danube River. Everyone I know, and every friend they have, knows how to swim. Except for me. And my parents.
When I was a kid swimming was not an option in my family, because there was no one who could rescue you if things wouldn’t go as planned. I didn’t miss it all that much, because most of our holidays were out in the country where no water was involved.
But, growing up, we started to visit the seaside more and more. And, when I started paragliding, knowing how to swim can come as a bonus while doing a SIV/acro course ( kind of a crash – specialization thing you only do over a lake or sea ) .
First of all, enrolling in a swim course was not for me( or…so I thought ). I was panicking really bad and started to cry as a baby. Not the exact image you want others to have about you when you’re over 30. So, I first started swimming with a snorkel mask. I took that thing everywhere with me, even in a pool :))! The water should never touch my nose or I will drown. After a while, me and the snorkel mask…it just didn’t work out anymore and we broke up. But then the water had to be shallow enough…So on and so forth….
3 years ago I went scuba diving. It was a horror experience. Although I have a picture saying otherwise, it was horror indeed. I could not let go of my diving instructor and couldn’t wait for it to finish.
So, this year I decided to enroll in a scuba diving course, and get a SSI licence. I did tell my instructor it won’t be easy and spent my first 3 pool sessions trying not to cry when entering the water. But now I can dive, I am working on my mask clearing skills and almost gathered enough courage to remove it and look cool ;)). It might take 3 years for me while it took others 2 days, but I am still gonna reach that point and brag about it.
An astronaut I interviewed a while ago was telling me that it pays off to recognize what is fear and what is danger. Most of us cannot do that and we live small restrictive lives, convinced that fear is danger. If you really want to do something and want it really bad, stop and think:
What is the worst that could happen if I do?
What is the worst that could happen while scuba diving in a pool, with a dozen people around you and someone looking after you all the time? Some water will enter your nose and you will get scared. But you won’t die. The chances of you dying after diving in an indoor pool under supervision are smaller than being hit by an asteroid. Or, at least, you get my point.
It might take 3 years to scuba dive, but I am still lapping everyone on the couch.
So, what are you most afraid of?
All images are copyrighted and credit goes to Scubadiver.ro. Thank you for all the patience, guys!
And, because I loved it, I wrote about it for Bored Panda :D!