Monday, August 1, 2011

On Three

We spent this last weekend at the cabin with some friends of ours.  The weather was warm and the lake water felt perfect.  My friend, Hilary, has known me for quite some time and understands how I feel each and every time I do something that I have never done before.  Last summer she encouraged me to go tubing behind the boat with her.  She really helped me overcome the nervousness of the unknown and I really enjoyed the experience.  So, when she asked me to jump off the side of the boat with her this weekend I knew I had to try it.

Steve had anchored the boat in the middle of the lake (about 20 feet deep).  When Hilary asked me if I wanted to jump off  the boat I felt both excited and scared to death.  I have never even gotten up the courage to jump off the dock, so the thought of jumping off the boat had never crossed my mind.  We both had our life vests on and stood at the back of the boat together.  "I don't know if I can do this," I said looking at her.  I'm sure I looked like a little kid getting trying to jump off the diving board for the first time.  Hilary turned to me and said, "You don't have to do it if you don't want to."  

I had to jump.  Not jumping was not an option.  I have been trying to get the courage to jump off the dock, but have chickened out each and every time this summer.  I looked at Hilary and told her that, "I want to jump."  She smiled at me and told me that she would hold my hand.  Eagerly, I took the  hand that I knew would give me the support that I desperately needed to overcome my fear.  

As we stood at the edge of the boat looking down at the water my nerves began to become more intense.  I can't swim, but I knew that the life jacket I was wearing would take care of me just fine. I didn't think that my legs would allow me to let go, so  I turned to Hilary's husband and asked him if he would just push me in. 

I have to jump.  Hilary tells me that we can go on my count to three.  She also told me that I could plug my nose with my other hand.  The cocky part of me informs her that I don't need to plug my nose.  I begin the count to three and on two I jumped.  

As I fell into the water I give a quick scream, as though I'm riding a roller coaster.  My voice is quickly silenced by the lake and water shoots up my nose.  Slowly, my body rises to the surface.  As soon as my head is out of the water I begin cheering myself on.   Hilary gives me a high five.  Even though I have swallowed water and my nose is burning, I can't seem to stop screaming with excitement.   No can I get this smile off of my face.  This is one of the happiest moments in my life!  I just did something that I could have never done before and it was so much fun!  

Hilary, thank you so much for helping me overcome my fear and introducing me to an activity that I will be able to do with my daughters at the cabin.  My only question to you is: What are  we going to do to top this next summer?


  1. Martha Beck, in her book, The Joy Diet, challenges all of us to take a risk every day. Your post was a good reminder to me. You will find many fun and exciting things to do with your girls, and good for you to face your fear and experience the high that follows!

  2. I, also, thank Hilary! Jean, I beat you'll hold your nose the next time :) How wonderful to have a friend like Hilary who coaches you, encourages you, and is ready to take your hand.