One morning, I braved the cool ocean water and enjoyed a beautiful swim out into the greatness. It was unlike most of my beach experiences. There were very few people and when you looked out, the only thing you could see was water. And the odd ship. It was true heaven.
So during my leisurely swim, I floated on my back and reveled in the moment of pure bliss and wished it could last forever. Then something interrupted my zen time. A rogue thought shoved its way into my quiet mind: I’m swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. And there are sharks in the ocean. It’s interesting how thoughts of sharks can alarm a person.
I tried to be logical. I reminded myself that people swim in the ocean off the coast of Florida all the time and sharks, I’m sure, never come close. But completely irrational fears defy such logic in these situations and I found myself swimming for the shore almost as if I was being chased by some blood thirsty shark.
When I arrived on land, I laughed at myself for being so silly and my father and his girlfriend shared a laugh at my expense as well. I learned a lesson that day: Do not think of sharks when you’re enjoying a lovely swim in the ocean.
THEN…fast forward a week or so. My father and his girlfriend were out swimming in the ocean as they frequently do and they were chased into shore by an actual shark. For real! Apparently, sharks do come around the Florida coast.
Then I googled it. According to an NBC article, Florida led world with 23 shark attacks in 2013. So glad I didn’t look this up before my trip south.
Guess my irrational fear isn’t quite as irrational as I thought. And yet I will still swim in the ocean again, but next time I will check on the shark sightings first and then force myself to think only of dolphins and goldfish during my zen floating time.