I did not want to not pass my fears to my son....So, how did I start?

Water has always been a huge daunting fear of mine — ever since my first memory of sitting at the top of my stairs as a child and bawling because I didn’t want to go to swimming lessons!  A fear of drowning (along with near drowning experiences) apparently runs in my family. 

In order to build up my confidence and “take my life by the balls” (or is it “take the bull by the horns”? ....either way) I had to start facing my fears and start LIVING the life I knew I was born to live!! 

I also had a huge burden in my heart to not pass on my fears to my son.  His life is so free and full of passion and possibility and I didn’t want my experiences (or lack thereof) to hinder him or hold him back in ANY way!  I needed to do something to take away the guilt I felt for “closing the door” on him!

So how did I start?  What was my first “baby step”? 

I literally had to start by opening up my eyes in my goggles under water…and that was my first anxiety attack, I’m not kidding.  I kept at it: going to the pool — freaking out — going again — freaking out less — going AGAIN....and eventually I tried my first Ocean swim.  “Tried” being the key word. Even with the most AMAZING support and encouragement of AMAZING friends and athletes, and my coach, I had a massive panic attack!!  Flailing, gasping, bawling, drowning, claustrophobia, anger, fear beyond belief, and so on and so forth....

I made it out alive and swore I would NEVER go back in the water. 

I went again next week. And again and again and AGAIN.....until slowly but SURELY water didn’t scare me anymore and eventually became my friend. (??!!!)  I now crave (yes, like a crazy person) ...crave...being underwater because of how “free” and weightless and childlike I feel!

And yes, less than a year later, I swam in the deepest darkest coldest shark infested waters from Alcatraz to shore!!vYAY me!!!!!!! O ya, and I qualified for “Worlds” for triathlon in Beijing!

It takes a jigsaw puzzle of friends and family to help nurture, support and balance my life.

And it has taken ALOT of courage, discipline, faith, bravery and choices on my part along with just plain getting up when I don’t “feel” like it!!!!  

I want to LIVE!  I want to LIVE MY LIFE to the fullest!!!!  Whether that means swimming Alcatraz (through nail biting anxiety and FEAR) or sitting on my roof with a delicious cup of coffee, or riding my bike to school with my little boy. I want to MAKE IT COUNT! I WANT TO LIVE!!!!

Angi Fletcher | Blog: I Did Not Want to Pass my Fears Along to my Son