Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 112: Wild Thing

As a child, I was terrified of water. This is not something that has gotten progressively better. To this day I can't put my face in the running shower water. One would think that there would be a reason for this, something that happened to me as a small little being that made me unnaturally afraid of water. But no. I am just afraid of it, for no reason at all.

In swimming lessons when I was young, I couldn't bring myself to blow bubbles in the water, at first. Eventually they convinced me that I wasn't going to die just because I put half my face in the water. I listened to them and did what I was told. Eventually we graduated to actually having to swim in swimming lessons. Curious. I can honestly say that I have absolutely no idea how I made it as far in swimming lessons as I did because I still have to hold my nose when I go under water. I made it to 'Green', which really means nothing because some people took lessons when it was numbers, not colours. I don't even know myself what Green really means, other than it's way too far into swimming lessons to still be plugging my nose. How did I fake this for so long? How did they not notice that when I turned my head to the side my face wasn't actually going into the water? Either my swim instructors were not very bright, or I was an incredible faker.

The other issue I had with swimming lessons was diving. With my deep seated fear of water, diving just seemed like idiocy to me. Why in the hell would I want to jump head first into one of my biggest fears? I'm not a FOOL. All of my diving attempts ended as really painful belly flops. I would work up the courage in my own mind. A little self-talk, "come on, Lydia, it's just water. We're in a pool. There is nothing scary. You can do this. Don't be the only one in the class that is afraid. Just prepare. Ok now, DIVE." Then as I bent my knees to power off the side, into the pool, I would mentally freak out. To the likes of, "OH MY GOD! YOU ARE AN IDIOT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING! YOU WILL DIE!" I would completely panic and then instead of neatly diving into the pool, I would jump up spastically, with crazy eyes as if I was being murdered. I would contort my arms and legs in such a fashion (think: a cat pouncing) that I could not avoid the inevitable belly flop, with all extremities frantically waving. It hurt every time. I'm sure I was the class joke.

I've cried both times that I've attempted snorkelling. This is more embarrassing because the first time I tried, I was 21. The second time, 22. Luckily, I was with family both times. I am sure that fish are pretty cool and that under the water there is a whole world that would be amazing to see first-hand, but I will stick to watching it on The Little Mermaid, thank you very much.


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