Archived Story

Facing my fears head-on

Published 2:07pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013

There are a lot of things in the world that scare people.

Some of the most common fears include fear of heights, flying, spiders or any number of poisonous creatures.

For me, one of my biggest fears is a fear of drowning.

Naturally, that means I cannot swim. I have had multiple swimming classes, but the fear of drowning has prevented me from learning time and time again.

Personally, I think it is healthy to be afraid of some things. For instance, being afraid of snakes will help you be more cautious when around them and ultimately keep you safe.

But admittedly some fears are illogical.

While I’m not ready to call my fear of drowning illogical, what I can say is that my fear (and many common fears, for that matter) has held me back from having fun.

This past weekend I fired the first salvo in overcoming my fear.

During a family vacation in Destin over the weekend, my brother and I decided to rent WaveRunners.

It was the first time that either of us had ridden a WaveRunner, so obviously we were both nervous.

I was debating the pros and cons of riding a WaveRunner before I made my decision, and obviously falling off and drowning despite the fact that I would be wearing a lifejacket, was at the top of my cons list.

And that simple fact that I would be wearing a life jacket was enough for me to realize that I was being irrational in my fear and made me decide to give it a shot.

And why not?

It’s not like I can actually afford to own a WaveRunner, nor is going to the beach something I get to do every weekend.

Riding the WaveRunner was like the first time I ever got behind the wheel of a car.

I lightly held down the throttle to see how fast the vehicle would go until finally I decided to throw caution into the wind.

And just like that, my fear was gone.

I knew at that point that as long as I remained cautious, my fear did not have to hinder me from enjoying myself.

I kept watching for other boaters, followed the rules, and as a result was in no danger.

Instead of flipping over and falling off the WaveRunner, I found a new hobby throughout the entire process.

While I’m still not over my fear of drowning, that weekend experience brought me one step closer to overcoming my fear.

One thing I know for sure is that the next time I hesitate to do something because I’m afraid, I’m going to take that chance and not let my fears hinder me from having fun.

Hudson is a staff writer for The Outlook.