My Story Of Conquering A Fear: Ginnie Springs Edition

By Natasha Zapata

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So I’m pretty much afraid of everything in the water. Ocean, lake, or river water, I don’t mess with. Now that I think of it, I get pretty anxious about anything that isn’t a cat or a dog. I’m not sure where this fear came from, but it’s definitely gotten worse throughout the years.

I used to be able to swim in lakes and in beaches, and then a couple of years ago I saw a jellyfish on the shore and thought, “What if I had been in the water while the jellyfish was?” Realizing that there was a possibility of that happening, I haven’t been in beach water since.

So naturally when my friends asked me if I wanted to go to Ginnie Springs, I said no. However, they are tired of hearing that response that they kept on begging me and I eventually gave in. This was a big deal for me. I’ve heard stories of alligators, turtles, and even water snakes of being in the springs.

But I decided to suck it up and live a little.

Everything was smooth sailing. I was laying back in my tube with the sun beaming down on me. I was with good company and had a fresh beer in my hand. The best part of it all was that I wasn’t really in contact with the water (minus my bum.)

Once we started getting to the end, I realized the only way out was to swim to the left side towards the exit. So I suck it up and hopped out of my tube and into the water. I started swimming and was occupied, chatting with my friends. Then suddenly I felt something on my leg.

I wasn’t sure what it was that I touched, but I panicked and started kicking my legs even harder. Soon after, I felt that I got a Charley Horse (muscle cramp) in my right leg.

In pain now, I swam even harder until I was shallow enough to where I could step down onto the ground. The only regimen that I know of to get rid of a Charley Horse is to step down on your foot and walk. Once I was able to step down, I sunk into a floor of what felt like seaweed. I would have normally freaked out even more at that fact, but it got rid of the pain so I didn’t care. Now exhausted, I swam the rest of the way to reach my friends, who had no idea of my misfortunes.

Looking at the big scheme of things, things could have been a whole lot worse and I could have actually encountered some wildlife while in the water. What made the whole situation traumatizing for me was the muscle cramp and panicking.

I can say however, that I’m glad I went. Besides those traumatic five minutes, I had a blast. It was a hot summer day and I was able to relax in cool water with some great friends and create new memories.

I haven’t been back to the springs, but when I do I’m sure it’ll be a lot easier than the first time.

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