Let’s start at the beginning. I booked this tour/adventure for my family and thought nothing about it until the date drew closer. I begin to become afraid of getting on the water in a tiki boat because I can not swim. I have been on three cruises. I still have some fear and I rationalized that as normal. Ok. No problem. I am still getting on the boat I tell myself.
I get on the boat and immediately, fear rises and changes into anxiety. I am now gripping the bar and I am having second, third, fourth, thousands of thoughts. I feel like I can’t breathe. I tell my fiend. I am scared! He says, “It’s ok. Just breathe. Nothing is going to happen.” I am thinking, “How many people have thought or said that and something happened.” I laid my head on the bar. The Captain wanted to know who all could swim and I was the only one that couldn’t. I looked at my friend and he said, “I am not going to let anything happen to you. I gotcha. Try to relax and enjoy.” The Captain saw my fear and begin to tell me his credentials and then he started to explain the physics of how this type of boat works. With the combination of trust in my friend and the captain, trust in God, the logic of how this boat floats, and comforting words (Oh yeah and downing a glass of pineapple sangria!) I started to relax.
I begin to talk to myself silently, “All is well. IF something happens you will not die. All of these people can swim and they will help you. The coastguard is literally in the water. It’s not your time. This is not how you will go and you know this. God is not going to let anything happen to you. Breathe. Look at the beautiful water all around you. Look at the clear blue skies. Feel the breeze. Soak up the sun and moment of this experience. And have a shot of vodka. :-D! ” Hey, my wine was all gone. After this photo was snapped, I thought about if I should post it. I look so confident but, I didn’t start out that way. I also thought about HOW I LOOKED IN THIS PHOTO. I am not a slim chic. I am who I am and I do love myself and my body. (I worked hard to get there) But most of us, even men, have some body insecurities. I saw the double chin. I saw the big boobs. I saw the mid section. I saw the lack of “junk in the trunk”. All of the things that cross between “WHITE AMERICAN BEAUTY” and “MY CULTURE’S DEFINITION” of beauty. This only lasted a split second because I was like, “The hell away with people. I love me!” Pic posted!
For some confidence is a given and for others we have to work at it. Confidence is built through experience. There are times you get to whip out your confidence on the spot and then there are times it has to be manufactured on the spot. The tools I was searching for in that moment seem to escape me. My fear of drowning swallowed up my confidence. TRUST is what I was searching for. LOGIC is what I was searching for. A PLAN for SAFETY is what I was searching for. When those things were presented to me I had to accept those tools. Then I had to use those tools to dig my way out of anxiety and an impeding anxiety attack. I did just that. It was difficult and it had to be done quickly.
I enjoyed the tour. I partied. I learned a few things about the area. I made memories with family. I did something new. I conquered a fear and silenced anxiety that day. Victory.