Tomorrow I’m doing my first open water swim across the Willamette River. It’s a half mile round trip, so not that far, and I’m going with a group of experienced swimmers, plus a swim buddy to watch over me.
I know I can do it, but I’m scared. I’m afraid that something that doesn’t exist, like a fresh water giant squid will grab my feet as I kick past and drag me underwater. We’re swimming by a bridge with enormous stanchions sunk deep into the river floor. I don’t want to look down and see that dark mass underneath. I’m sure that’s where the creatures live.
I was on swim teams when I was a girl and used to frighten myself into swimming faster by imagining I had to save my baby brother who had fallen into the deep end of the pool. With the fear I’m generating in my mind, I’m going to fly across the river to escape that squid.
I’m balanced between wanting to swim in open water and being afraid of the unknown.
I’ll try to remember it’s just me and the water.
Here I go.