It all had to do with a simple diving board.....
Right around 4th grade I was signed up for swimming lessons- passed my first class with flying colors. Then, I was moved up to the "Advanced" class. The second week or so the instructor lets us know that on top of being able to hold our breath for a minute, dive for rings at the bottom of the pool, swim in place for 2 minutes, and complete 10 laps....in order to pass the class we had to dive off the diving board.
You'd have gotten a kick out of my expression when that bomb dropped. Think pale as Wednesday[Addam's Family], eyes like a deer in headlights like what. just. happened?! I thought, "Excuse me, did you say diving board? The super-high, 5 meters or whatever it is one [a.k.a. 16 ft. for all the people like me who check in to la-la land when math and conversions come up]?" As much as I wanted to imagine I'd heard wrong, my ears had not deceived me.
Looking up at that diving board that pretty much looked like a high-rise to me and trying to envision mustering up the courage to even just leap off that thing was the most petrifying notion ever!