Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Moment of Fear...Moment of Reality

***photo courtesy of NBC.

OK, we're only two weeks into the new season, and I've already found someone to identify with. When the contestants got to their challenge site for the week and found themselves at a pool, Maria let her fear get the better of her. She was afraid of the water and did not know how to swim. At first she was frozen because of it, and could not bring herself to walk across the balance beam to the other side. Once she finally did, she was in such a hurry to get to the other side and away from the water that she fell against the concrete and her nose began to bleed. She had to be taken to the hospital, and when she got back to the ranch she had a black eye and a fractured ring finger.
Jillian decided that she needed to take Maria aside and help her confront her fears. She led her out to the pool to face it head on. Maria was beyond a nervous wreck, and it was raining on top of it all. Jillian went in the water with her, getting her to realize she was floating by herself without Jillian's help. Then she got Maria actually swimming a little bit. The two of them really bonded over this experience, and Maria felt so much better conquering her fear of the water.
I felt like it was me out there in that pool with Jillian. (And it figures that Maria and I have names that are SO similar!) I never learned how to swim...neither of my parents knew how, and I don't think they actually thought much of it until I was an adult and really wished I could swim. My dad was even in the Coast Guard and did rescues without knowing how to swim; I'm sure that would never be allowed nowadays. There were a couple of times that I actually attempted to learn...but my fear was so strong that I couldn't do it.
Now, I love the water, and I'm always in a pool whenever I can be. But like Maria, I'm only comfortable going in up to the 4 foot mark. I do exercises at the side of the pool, and I do hold on to the edge while I kick my feet out, thanks to a family friend who at least got me to do that when I was about 12. I would love to be comfortable enough to actually let go of the sides and swim.
This episode is making me face my fears head on...I really need to let go of the sides (just like on the treadmill!) and learn. I know fear has paralyzed me in so many ways, and if I conquer this one it will help me take more risks in other areas of my life. I am going to swim...I will find a way. Thank you Maria and Jillian!


Babble said...

I don't know how to swim either. My dad tried to teach me when I was a teenager. You'd think as much as I trust my dad I would have been able to learn. But I couldn't get past my fear. I actually stop breathing when I'm in water deeper than 4 feet, absolutely frozen with fear.

WriterMarie said...

My husband tried to teach me when we were dating, and then when my son had lessons his instructor tried to help me too. I really want to work on getting over this. I know exactly how you feel.

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