This month I spent some time in Florida and was really excited to hop onto a stand-up board and do some boarding in the canal and out into the ocean. I tried it out last year in a lake near my home and loved it. When I hopped onto this one (Ok, maybe more like slowly stepped off of a ladder holding on for dear life), I was overcome with fear. I was so mad at myself. It was completely ridiculous. I know how to paddle board, I can do this. Nope. Legs of Jell-o. I couldn't see into the water. I wasn't on my fresh water lake with bass and walleye below the surface, I was in salt water and I was pretty sure I just saw a shark fin (Yep, actually did). Circling around the canal, I had fun, but I wasn't going to go past the safe zone.
As soon as I got off of my board, my dad took it for a spin. He paddled around and out of the corner of my eye I saw a fin. I managed to grab my phone and snap a picture of a dolphin surfacing right next to him. I was so happy for my dad. There were sharks and rays in the water but there were dolphins too, I kind of forgot about that. For those of you on the ocean coasts, this might not be a big deal, but for a kid who grew up in Northern Michigan, this was HUGE! Call me Jenny Cousteau, I'm living the dream here!
The next two afternoons, my dad and I took out kayaks and paddled through the water alongside four dolphins. One followed my kayak and touched its nose to the tip of it before diving under and up on the other side. It took my breath away (kind of out of fear of being tipped over and also out of the awesome wonder of nature).
I've been thinking about this experience over and over again ever since it happened. If I wouldn't have sucked it up and gone back out, I would have missed out on a moment I might never experience ever again. It was a timely reminder for me as I venture into new waters with business and explore other opportunities. It might be a bit out of my safe zone, there might be sharks in the water, but there are also going to be once-in-lifetime dolphin moments that I could miss if I don't push past the initial Jell-o legged fear. Ok Mr. Trite Phrase, I feel you loud and clear, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."