This I believe: Sometimes you just have to jump off the high dive.
As a kid, I looked forward to summer camp every year. July 1st meant off to Camp Eberhart with all my cousins and brothers. After 4 years of swimming in the shallow parts of Cory Lake in Three Rivers, Michigan, I was finally a “big fish” in the advanced swimming class. I was finally allowed to swim where the big kids did, and where I couldn’t touch. But I knew with that came the conquering the camps main attraction, a 60 foot diving board called the “Tower”. Don’t get me wrong, I was a pretty tough chick back then, 3 brothers will do that to you, but heights was the one thing that I just could not seem to conquer. Maybe my fear could be credited to the fact that my brothers told me the story of a camper falling off the board and broking his neck; but most of all I just didn’t like the idea of jumping 60 feet into a lake. For days I made excuses as to why I couldn’t jump off: my foot hurt, I had a headache. But really I was just terrified.
So when the last day of swimming rolled around, and I was the only one not to have experienced the diving board, the pressure was on. All the excuses in the world were not going to save me this time. “I’ll go up with you, we can do it together,” said my cousin. After listing every reason as to why I couldn’t and wouldn’t jump of the diving board, I gave in, and started my 60 climb to the top of the diving board. With every step my heart beat raced and nerves increased; there was no turning back. I had to face my fear, the diving board and my swim class.
I stood on the end of the diving board, just staring at the water. “This isn’t that big of deal, stop being such a wimp,” I told myself. And with that and an encouraging nod from my cousin, I stepped off the end of the board. Just a few seconds of screaming, and I hit the water. When I surfaced, my entire class was cheering for me. I had faced my fear and after that the diving board wasn’t so bad. I jumped off every time after that summer, I was nervous each time, but thinking back to my first jump gave me confidence.
That summer was not the most pivotal moment in my life and it didn’t just cure my fear forever, I’m still not much of heights person. But this experience got me on my way to conquering heights. It was the beginning of my lifelong effort to challenge myself and face my all time biggest fear. People can’t live their lives avoiding the things they are afraid of however minor or major they may be.
My name’s Morgan and I’m a recovering Acrophobic.
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