Do something that scares you


The first thing you should know about me is that I'm terrified of heights. The second thing you should know about me is that I have a tendency to do things that scare me. 

Before you refer me to a professional, I'd like to point out that it hasn't been such a bad thing. I've learned a lot about myself from facing my fears.

As a pre-teen, I climbed up to the top of a diving tower with my dad. From my spot on the grass next to the pool, that platform didn't look all that high. Well let me tell you, when you force yourself past the railing, a 15 meter drop is a long, long way down.

I thought my dad was going to jump too but he took one look over the edge and headed back for the stairs. My pre-teen brain did a quick assessment. Embarrass myself by chickening out or hurl myself off into the abyss.  I chose the abyss. 

So I stood there, with my toes gripping the concrete surface for all they were worth while I waited for my turn.

"Jump out far enough so you don't hit the other platforms on the way down," the seasoned jumper next to me advised.

I just nodded my head, unable to speak. My brain was still trying to process my decision to die.

But I had made up my mind and I was going to do it. When the lifeguard signaled for me to jump, I pushed out as far as my shaky legs could propel me and held my breath. I don't really know how long it took me to hit the water but it felt like a solid minute before splash down.

I was out of breath, I hit the bottom of the pool with my bikini top wrapped around my neck and the wedgie from hell, but I did it. 

Would I do it again? Not on your life. But I don't regret it either. There is just something about facing your fears head on, knocking knees and all.