Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Fear fear.

How many times have you said to yourself, "I won't do this because I'm afraid of that"? I know I've said it a few times. When I was in junior high school I used to be horribly afraid of the water, a result of my brother's well intentioned but misguided attempt at teaching me to swim the old fashion way (a.k.a. the sink or swim method). It was a deep-rooted fear that kept me aware of even a bathtub's depth. But one day I overcame it, not because of courage or bravery, but because I was more afraid of something else, the prospect of being ridiculed by my peers during the freshman swim class. To a thirteen-year-old boy, what could be more frightening? So the summer before I entered high school, I allowed a larger fear to motivate me to overcome a smaller fear. But it was too late. By that time I had already missed out on many summers at the beach, or on the lakeshores where I would confine myself to a shallow prison. Our family vacation in Mexico I spent in the confines of a hotel swimming pool not more than twenty yards from the Pacific ocean, all while my siblings frolicked in the warm mexican surf. During the summer trips to Lake Tahoe I would sit at the shore watching my family swim freely in the pristine waters. Those days are long past, but I still confront fear everyday. The only difference being that I now have knowledge of the greatest fear.

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