Swimming through the underwater arch at Two Step had been a goal of mine since I was a child. My dad would go through it every time we snorkeled there, and while by age 14 I probably could have made it physically, I’d never been able to psych myself up mentally. Over the years it began to represent a lack of fear that I thought I’d never reach.
Fast-forward to last October and you can see that I did indeed meet this goal, from both directions, in a mermaid tail. While I am a better swimmer than ever, my block was a mental one. I was afraid of sharks, deep water, and getting trapped in the tunnel and drowning.
I spent a long time wrestling with my anxiety with no chemical help. I pushed myself into deeper waters, crossing inlets and lakes, getting in a shark tank, diving as deep as I could (which honestly isn’t that deep, I don’t have the ears for free diving). Once I started an SSRI to actually manage my anxiety, all that practice started paying off. You can see it here, on video.