Finally we got to swim in the deep end. And you could jump off the diving board if you wanted to. I watched classmates go off the low board. They didn't even spring off, they just stepped out and into the water a few feet below. That didn't look fun at all.
When it was my turn I asked if I could go off the high board. With two instructors waiting in the water below and one accompanying me up the ladder, I felt more than ready. When I got to the edge of the platform and looked down, though, something in me said, "Maybe the low board isn't such a bad idea."
I wish I could remember what I said to the instructor and what he told me, but my parents still have a picture of little four-year-old me being dangled over the edge of the high diving platform by the armpits, ready to fall for what felt like minutes before I hit the water.
It was totally worth it.
I have always watched someone do something daring and thought "I want to try!" Then when I get the chance and I see what they saw, I want to back out. But if a tender coach walks me through the first part, I lose my fear and take off on my own. "What was I so afraid of?"
I should remember that more often, when given the chance to take risks, to live a little more life, to dance in front of strangers: "Later I will ask myself, 'what was I so afraid of?' so just do it, Sarah."