For half of my 5th grade year, my family lived in Phoenix, Arizona (really Tempe – but who knows where Tempe is… unless you’re a Sun Devil fan).  One very warm day, we decided to hang out at Saguaro Lake.  Until then, I didn’t know there was any water in Arizona.

There was a very large boulder that looked deceptively close to shore and I decided, as any kid who loves to swim does, to swim to the boulder.  Granted, Saguaro Lake is an actual landlocked lake, it didn’t stop my over-active imagination from creating horrific tales of underwater sea creatures (namely sharks) who were ready to pounce at any moment.  (It also didn’t help a few years before experiencing Jaws jump out of a very calm lake to eat a fisherman at Universal Studios.)

Besides the belief ravenous sea creatures were chomping at my toes, my competitive nature spurred me forward.  Getting onto the rock was more difficult: the bottom half was covered in algae.  I made it to the boulder (just in time!) and climbed up on my new perch.

I sat there for what I now imagine to be at least 30 minutes because of this: the rock was being circled by fish and sharks all waiting for that moment I had to swim back to shore.  I was ready to stake my claim & lead a Le Petit Prince existence on my boulder.

But as all adventures must come to an end, I had to brave the deadly, slippery algae and the hungry, predatory fish and swim back to shore.  I guess those Arizona sea creatures are lazy (all that hot weather); I made it back to shore without so much as a nibbled toe.

This story plays on repeat in my brain when I start a new adventure.  Even if that adventure isn’t on a grand jump-out-of-airplanes scale.  Fear is a funny (sea) creature; she is often much more menacing in our heads then in real life.

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