Next thing I know, I found myself standing at the edge of cliff that was about a 20 ft drop to --- the freaking OCEAN!
How did this happen? How the heck did I get up here? Said the girl who CANNOT SWIM. That's right you read that right.. I CANNOT SWIM. I'm not talking like I can't do laps very well. I'm seriously saying, if I get to anything pass my... neck (if that) I FREAK out. In my head, I'm already halfway to drowning.
So as you sit back and try to recollect what I just wrote. I'll reaffirm your thoughts in saying that "Yes, I realize I grew up on an island surrounded by water.. and I NEVER learned how to SWIM."
Before you gawk at me..
There is a legitimate reason to this phobia. When I was just a wee little girl (okay maybe 9) my mom took us out to a water park they had here called Castle Park. Well compared to what we have now, you may as well just compare it to a glorified swimming pool. But I remember going down slide without knowing what to expect when I got to the bottom... and literally falling into the water with no way of knowing how to get back up. The life guard had to jump in and save me. That little incident is enough to drive me steer clear from the water for the years to come.
So now you're wondering.. what exactly do I do at the beach or pool when I'm with the family? Well, I sunbathe! I may dip into the water (mainly to cool off) but I always carry a floatie or steal the kids floaties!
So I've heard all the jokes.. "Here mom, take Audrey's floaties!" Or, "What are you gonna do when the tsunami comes?" Or the classic move is when everyone is in the water and they are all waving at me to join them, in a mocking matter of course.
Well come to think of it.. I still don't even know what I was thinking.
Moments before I ended up the rock, I was watching everyone jumping off the cliff, even the kids, over and over again and I honestly felt left out. As I stood below the cliff taking pictures, I realized the water was not very deep. Then I looked over at Rudy and he already knew what I was thinking before I'd even say it. He immediately said, "You can do it!" Then there's Erica reassuring me that she would go with me to the top and raving about what an excellent swimmer Logan is. Now I admit, if Logan was not at the bottom waiting for me, I really would have NOT gone. The fact that I knew he was a trained lifeguard was reassuring. But moments before I went, Logan looked me straight in the eye and asked "What is it that you are afraid of? The Height or The Water? Because if it's the water, you have nothing to worry about I'll be down there!" And the height had nothing to do with it, I don't have a fear of heights, it's the water that scared the "bejesus" out of me.
I can't even begin to explain my fear of water, it is real, and I have never even jumped into a pool of water that's 4 feet! (Well there is that one time I saved my niece from drowning, but that's another story). So jumping off this cliff was big for me.
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
I still have a long way to go with this whole fear of water thing.. like actually taking swimming classes. But something about jumping off that cliff and into the ocean that made me feel "alive". In the last few months I have noticed a shift in perspective in my life. I am challenging myself more and more. I used to think I could not do any sort of "Strength Training" especially when I tried to lift a 25lb barbell and all I could think of "This is too hard and it hurts.." Now I crave the weight training! Then there's this Spartan Race we signed up for next month. (You need to google Spartan Race) It is "hard-core!" I'm still leery of the 10ft wall climbs and that rope climb, but I'm gonna try. And that's all you can do in life, is try. Sometimes I need to be reminded of how to live fearlessly and to just go for it.