It was race day.
In a moment of what now seemed like insanity, I agreed to do the swimming portion of a triathlon relay.
500 meters (20 laps)
I swam on a team when I was younger. But I’d only been a few times in the last decade.
(Confession: Just about as terrifying as the race was appearing in a swimsuit in public. The only advantage I could think of was that my neon white legs might temporarily blind the other swimmers.)
We pulled into the race area. Then my husband sauntered over to the registration desk and let them know our team had arrived.
“The three stooges are here!” he cheerfully announced.
I stepped to the edge of the lake and peered into the dark waters. I imagined all sorts of creatures nibbling on my toes. Perhaps the leg-whiteness would ward them off as well.
I paced. I used the porta-potty (eww!) about fourteen times. I thought I might faint, throw-up, and/or die.
And then it was time.
I stepped into the water with knees knocking, pink goggles, and a white swim cap. I felt more like an albino rabbit than an athlete.
The trumpet sounded (seriously) and we were off.
And then something miraculous happened.
Then I swam some more.
I passed the first marker.
I passed some other swimmers.
And then I was done.
All that drama and nothing happened. Nothing nibbled on my toes. I didn’t have to be carried back to shore by a rescue boat. My time was smack in the middle of the men and women.
And the Three Stooges won third place.
When they called our team’s name, I could hardly make it to the stage because I was laughing so hard.
It felt like grace.
I was reminded again that most of the time the most important part is just showing up. And doing whatever it is despite our fears. Even when we feel insecure. Or unqualified.
I’m going to train for another race.
And This time I’m going into the water with a bright white smile that matches those legs.
Have you ever been afraid to do something and decided to do it anyway? What helped you push through your fear?