As you may have seen on my FB live recently I have been working on my fear of sharks?! I signed up to do a triathlon in March not realising that it was to overcome a fear. I love growing and trying new things and thought after improving my fitness last year I would give this a go! Little did I know that it would not only be a physical challenge but also an emotional and mental challenge.
I can swim in a pool, but the sea was a totally different experience! I started swimming and before long started to have a panic attack. Initially I wasn't sure what was happening. I tried a second time and then from my brain and inner child within "sharks!!" I was scared of sharks. Knew I wouldn't want to meet one but didn't realise this was such a real fear that was locked in my subconscious mind. It came about when I was fishing with my Dad when I was 9yrs old. We were out in the bay in Portarlington in a "tinny" (small fishing boat). I had my fishing line in the water which had a tug and hooked a fish! Next thing there was a bigger tug and a shark jumped out of the water with my fish insitu!!
Aahhhhh I was petrified??!! I looked at Dad who remained calm and said "I think we've had enough for today, let's go back in". We hooted back in and then Dad confessed he had been scared too. I hadn't recalled this memory until now. Guess where my triathlon is?? Portarlington.... I will be swimming right where the shark was.......
Don't you just love how there is most often a deeper reason for doing things. I am all about stepping out of my comfort zone to grow and here was my next challenge. Having overcome my fear of public speaking the next fear to love had arrived. It has actually been a wonderful experience. Where I have used all my tips and tools that I teach others. I have been writing to my 9 year old inner child to let her know she is safe, honouring my fear and taking a bite at a tie. I love this saying! "How do you eat an elephant? The same way you eat a chicken, one bite at a time." This seemed like an elephant so I approached it like a chicken.
One bite was to swim along the shore a stroke at a time saying to myself "you are safe". Then I did it twice. Next time I did it again and was able to stay under the water for longer. Then I swam out to the yellow boy with my wet suit on which was a huge achievement! I was so proud of myself. I stopped out there to talk to a man. Actually I was saying to myself "Please stop, I need to talk out here to feel more comfortable". The man stopped. I met lovely Steve who then gave me the next bite. There is a group called the "Mussles" who swim every Sunday morning. Come along! I was there with bells on!
I was scared and honoured that. I was also running late and most of the group was out swimming laps. I trusted I was late for a reason. Then the lovely Neil turned up. My angel! He had decided to take it easy today and would swim with me! What a miracle. I told him about the triathlon and my fear and he was amazing! We stopped and chatted at every boy and I made it around once 600m! I was more than happy with that! I wanted to get out. Then Neil said "Let's do it again?". Ok I said yes trusting he was my higher self talking to me. Off we went again and although I was starting to fatigue I know it was the best thing ever. I forgot where I was and enjoyed the last two legs. I forgot I was in the sea. You beauty!! I was pumped!! Then the next bite. There is an open sea class earlier in the morning where you learn technique and swimming in a pack. I met the lovely Jason and would return next week for my next bite.
The next week I arrived early and was feeling quite nervous! Early Saturday morning and could have been doing other things! Why am I doing this again? Well it was a beautiful morning which is the photo above. Why? why? Because I love to grow, love and make everyday count. Ok let's go! Thank God for the unknown! This was challenging. I since found out there was a beginners class early. Was I in the wrong group? I was last most of the time but I had fun! Everyone was so encouraging and supportive. I laughed lots and made it to the end.
The gold in this is that something shifted. I realised I am quite unfit swimming. What a revelation!! I was no longer focusing on being scared of sharks. Now I am focused on improving my fitness. Next bite is Jason's swimming squad in the pool!!
I have learnt to "Love your fears to live your life and make everyday count!" We are so loved and supported and just need to take one bite at a time.