Fear is one of those very-human things that pretty much everyone experiences at some point in their life.

I think it’s good to scare yourself once in a while. For example, when I went to Italy last summer, I had to face one of my biggest fears: flying. It was obviously worth it. And then some. And you know what, the next time I flew wasn’t nearly as scary.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a fear of deep water. This may or may not have something to do with my longtime fascination with lost ocean liners…Whatever it is, even being in the deep end of a pool gives me the shivers. I pretend it doesn’t, but when I can’t touch the bottom, I get a little spooked. It’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. Needless to say, I’ve never been a huge fan of water sports.

However, I decided to go for a swim the other day.

My space-alien body double

In the past two weeks, I’ve been thinking of activities that won’t hurt my foot. Why not turn this into an opportunity to learn something new, you know? I’m already scared sh!tless about all the what-ifs that x-rays may or may not clear up, so I figured, what’s a little water?

Haha, well, until this past Saturday, I had never gone swimming in a big pool with lanes. Naturally, everything I know went out the window, and I found myself panicking. Halfway across the pool, I saw, ” WATER IS 12 FEET DEEP” and freaked the f out. I made it two laps before deciding to call it quits.

But then I couldn’t get out of the pool! It was hilarious. I tried to climb out, but this pool was clearly not designed with Jess-sized people in mind. After a few slippery attempts, I swam across a few lanes to the ladder. As I climbed out, I was shaking like a wet kitten.

I was about to head back to the locker room, but was too embarrassed to give up so soon, so I grabbed a kick board and did a few comically disastrous laps. I felt so self-conscious and was still shaking like crazy, but at least I wasn’t thinking abut being cold!

As I showered, I did feel kind of ridiculous, but I was also insanely proud of myself for getting in the water at all. You have no idea how many times I almost talked myself out of going. And now that I’ve tried—and failed—I can’t wait to try again.

Before I get back in the water, though, I’m going to practice a few times. Luckily, my parents are always telling me to come out and use their pool, and I have a few trips planned. Hopefully refreshing my muscle memory will make for a less ridiculous experience…

What are some of your fears? Which ones are you proudest of facing? 

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