Well, here it is. Finally. The video documenting the day I faced my fear of sharks, courtesy of the good people at Red Balloon.
The reason it’s dragged its feet a bit in getting here is my excellent friend, Luke (you’ll spot him in the photos looking beardedly through the window of the training pool), who did a fantastic job of filming my day and distracting me by chuckling and making me quote shark movies, was trying to edit himself out of our little movie. But it seems he found my near soiling of pants so amusing he’s snickering in most of the shots. In the end we just left him in.
The thing with an adventure like this is the shark swimming itself was only about 30 minutes, but the build up and the elation afterwards are where the value really kicks in.
So was I really scared?
I was figuratively, but very nearly literally, shitting myself. I was lying awake at night trying to convince myself I could do some stupid nose pinch thing, which I’d seen on the telly a couple of decades ago, to stun any shark which looked like it was going to get bitie. But with my coordination I’d simply end up force feeding my whole arm into the sharks mouth.
In the video I think my shit-scaredness comes across nicely. You can see it in my eyes but even more-so you can hear it in my voice. When I’m really tired my voice goes really soft. The reason I’m really tired is in the lead up to my shark swim I was having nightmares and talking in my sleep.
And if you’re looking at my body language and thinking I look very calm and bored, with my arms crossed or clasped in front of me, you’re wrong. The dive instructors told us if we wiggle out hands around the sharks will think we’re going to feed them and swim over for a snack. At 9.49 you’ll see me give Luke a bit of a hand signal and then panic as I remember this and then look around nervously.
I’m a bit ‘omg’ about putting this up and letting everyone see just how daggy I am. It’s easier to hide behind words and cute images of my children. But I’m also thrilled Luke filmed this because I’d already forgotten so much of the day. The video is a bit of an epic (just under 12 minutes) but we wanted to give you a sense of the build up and the day and the thrill afterwards of having accomplished the tackling of a well founded and totally logical fear. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
In the end, as you’ll see in the photos below, it wasn’t the sharks which gave me the biggest fright. It was the giant groper which stalked me. At least, that’s how it felt in the fish tank. But then it’s his fish tank, so maybe I was stalking him.
So if you’re looking for an adventure for yourself, a loved one or a friend, or maybe you’d just like to scare the bejesus out of a work colleague, check out the Red Balloon website for this and other great ideas. From balloon rides to supercars to cooking lessons, there’s something for everyone.