Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Some Things Are Worth The Risk

I was thirteen. I remember standing in the chest-high water, cold, shivering. Just about four or five feet in front of me, my friends from school were laughing and playing. They didn't pay attention to me. I wasn't a part of the game.

I watched them. A small amount of anger welled up inside. Were they really my friends? Did they really care? If the situation were reversed, I would have at least acknowledged that they were there. I'm sure of it. I wanted to join in but I was afraid.

My toes gripped the steep edge of the slope. I imagined a bottomless precipice sliding down into eternity. And I also imagined my body being as heavy as a rock. I saw myself sinking. Slowly. Not like a rock at all. Just heavy enough to drift deeper and deeper. Fighting for breath as I saw the shimmering light of the water's surface move further and further away.


I'm being stupid. This was a small pool. Only seven feet deep. I took the classes. I know what to do. I can do this!

But the last time...

Forget the last time! That was more than a year ago. I didn't drown. I came out okay.

Only because that kid handed me a board. If he didn't have two...

"Vinny!" Someone calls out to me from the deep side of the pool.

I take a long, slow breath and exhale...

Screw it! I'm tired of being afraid.

I launch out...


My take on this week's prompt from Studio 30 Plus: RISK.


  1. Dude, deep, deep post.
    Risk assessment and overcoming fear...yeah!

  2. This post gives me a slight panic attack, I have to admit...

  3. I sometimes think I begin a new journey simply because I grow wearing of thinking about beginning the journey.

  4. I like this.

    and well done. Overcoming fear is a HUGE thing.

    I wish my son would overcome his fear of swimming...

  5. @ AC: Not as deep as that pool seemed at the time.

    @ Meri: Remembering how I felt back then, I can almost feel the old anxiety myself.

    @ dbs: That's exactly how I feel. I just want to get over it so I don't have to deal with the anticipation of it.

    @ Sprite: Give him time & support. In the end, no matter what it is that gives us that final push, the decision has to be his.

    @ Moooooog: Yes. It's true. I might as well confess. I'm just a zombie now searching for acceptance in a world filled with hatred & prejudice against the undead.

  6. The water may have been 7 feet but this post is ocean trench deep. The ending two lines are straight awesome. Well done, Vinny.

  7. That is sometimes how I am pushed to move through fear, by getting angry at myself or someone else, angry enough to just say "screw it" and go for it so I can quit feeling weak. Sometimes it's a good idea, sometimes, not so much but at least I know instead of being stuck wondering. I hate that feeling.

  8. @ Lance: Thank you. You're too kind.

    @ Random Girl: Since then, I've tried to adopt the motto "When in doubt, act." But, you're right. It's a two-edged sword.


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