I opened my big, fat mouth and told the swim squad coach that I was keen to try for the annual New Zealand Ocean Swim Series.
Her eyes lit up and I knew it was too late to retract my statement.
'Oh good. You'll have to start showing up for sessions more than once a week. I'll push you,' she said. I knew it was a done deal.
My regular Friday sessions aren't going to cut it. Nope, I'll have to show up for the Tuesday and Friday sessions.
And I, who have a fear of the open water, will now have to stump up enough courage to face said ocean on the day of the event.
Now, before you think I'm about to race off and enter in a one kilometre long-distance cross-channel swim, you're wrong.
I have my eyes set on the Give-It-A-Go 500 metres event. I have re-read the "About The Event" information a million times to assure myself the event is suited for all-abilities. It is, apparently, suitable for ages 8 and up.
So far, so good. Registrations open on August 31, and I suppose I have about six-months to 'train' (doesn't it sound so important when one says they're 'training' for an event!).
However, the real reason I have decided to give the Ocean Swim Series a go is because I want to put into practise the theory of "doing things afraid."
Manning up to doing things afraid
I have heard enough sermons and read enough inspirational quotes on Pinterest and BuzzFeed to know that one cannot allow fear to hold them back from doing things they're afraid of.
Joyce Meyers has preached herself parched on the topic, and I can probably list off the Bible greats, who as Meyer would have put it, 'felt the fear but did it anyway.'
But for years, I did nothing about conquering my fear of the open waters. Sure, I often wondered what it was like to sign-up for the ocean swim series.
I thought about it—only to quickly shut it off when it got too scary to think about it.
Another thing about the open ocean which scares me is the fact I'd be unable to feel the ground (and the idea of a fish or an eel brushing up against me is too much to bear).
The other thing was that up until last year, I wasn't very confident with my swimming skills.
At the same time, I would often hear my fellow workmates talk about how they're working towards a marathon or a triathlon, and they sounded super marvellous!
The only marathons I have ever done up to this day include a book-reading marathon or a buffet-marathon.
As cliché as this sounds, the penny did drop. I decided I was sick of being afraid. So I pulled out my swimsuit, joined my local pool's swim squad, and worked to build my swimming confidence.
Still, there's that issue of having to dunk my face in open water. How unnerving.
Sometimes, it can feel like the whole 'doing it afraid' business applies only to people who are looking to conquer giants—people who are launching a business, or going away on a missions trip.
But I think that principle can be applied to anything, from conquering your fear of driving on a busy highway to trying something new for the first time.
In this case, I'll be putting on a brave face as I brace myself for my inaugural open water experience.
Michele Ong is a former regional news journalist with a passion to be a voice for the marginalised and disenfranchised. Writing is as essential to her as breathing and she believes words contain life which is to be used to inspire, inform, and influence readers. Michele attends Auckland's City Impact Church with her family on the North Shore.
Michele Ong'sprevious articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michele-ong.html