Swimming Pool Sharks

My grandad lived with our family for the majority of my life.  It was awesome.  He was a gorgeous little Irish man with a big heart.  Sadly, he passed away a few years ago from diabetes, and he is sorely missed. He was a wonderful grandad.

My grandad and I.

When we were in primary and my mum went back to work, my brother and I would come home from school and hang out with grandad for a while.  My dad is a builder so no matter where we lived, he would always create a house that accommodated grandad so he could have his own space when he wanted it.  Whether it was a downstairs apartment with a kitchen, TV room, bathroom and 2 bedrooms, or a whole floor to himself. It was such a great set up and worked really well for everyone.

My brother and I would spend a fair bit of time hanging out with grandad and sometimes we would watch movies together or he would cook us yummy things.  One time I remember visiting him and he was already watching the James Bond movie ‘Thunderball‘.  I walked into his lounge room just as two men were pushed into a beautiful pool, and an evil man opened a secret door and some sharks swam into the pool and ate the two men.  Then, of course, James Bond ended up in the pool….but he managed to escape!  Wow, the image of the shark door opening and sharks swimming into a backyard pool stuck with me for a quite a while.  I am a very visual person and I have to be careful what movies I expose my brain too.  If I am not careful, I can be taunted by a ridiculous movie for years. So I developed a fear of swimming in any kind of pool alone. I would be okay if someone else was swimming in the pool with me, but as soon as they left I would freak out and just hang out on the pool steps, being careful to not let my legs dangle over the sides into the deep bit. CHOMP!

I have taught myself to get over this pool-shark fear (I know it was completely ridiculous), although I can STILL get a little nervous if I am in an Olympic sized pool by my lonesome self.

Another layer of my shark phobia was formed when I used to do nippers (lifesaving for kids).  I was in Year 5 (nine years old) when we went on an overnight camp to Camden Haven and stayed with a heap of other kids in the Surf Lifesaving Club.  The movie the adult leaders decided to show us all as we tucked into our sleeping bags for the night was ‘Jaws‘.  The one where the lady is swimming at night in the beginning of the movie and she holds onto a buoy and gets eaten alive.  Yeah, that one. The next day we had our camp competition where we had to swim out a fair distance around a buoy and back again.  I was physically sick with fear and ended up having to go home.  From never having a problem swimming out in the ocean deep, to being frozen with fear if I couldn’t touch the sand.  Mum said after that nippers camp I was very reluctant to go to any carnivals, and if they did manage to get me in the water I would lead on the way out to the buoy…but keep stopping until others caught up, then swim, then wait, then go around the buoy and absolutely smash my swim back to shore in an instant.  My fear made me quite successful at nippers :)

I will swim in the ocean now, and in a pool, but I have not gotten over my fear of sharks.  A picture of them sends shivers down my spine.  I spotted an article recently which was about a man trying to prove that sharks are not as dangerous as we think.  He went paddleboarding out to greet a great white shark to demonstrate this.

Insane!  Unfortunately, his bravery (?) didn’t do what he intended…for me at least.  I am still fearful of the freaky things.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jodes on April 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Are you crazy? How can you post this? I can’t even look at the picture of the shark in the pool on your blog… why do you think I was such a fast swimmer at school? I was swimming the hell away from the sharks I was imagining chasing me – seriously! *shudder*

    Reply

  2. Ok…no thanks to the paddle board and the shark…is he freaking NUTS? I am calling horseshoes, and a little bit of insanity involved in those pictures…

    Reply

  3. Posted by Bob Ninky on January 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I heard about that guy who paddle boarded with Great Whites, he’s dead now. It wasn’t the shark bite that killed him, it was the loss of blood and shock from having his internal organs wrenched from his gut.

    Reply

  4. I am very fascinated by sharks but I admit sometimes I imagine them being in the swimming pool (lol). I do fear them in the ocean, too, because I am not a good swimmer and sharks are just so huge and dangerous. But I still have a weird obsession with them and love learning about them–just not being near them! Anyway, I think it’s terrible that you were put to bed with JAWS of all things at bed before a swim—UH, was the adult braindead or what? Show kids a movie about killer sharks before a swim=worst idea ever.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Liane on November 20, 2012 at 3:14 am

    I know exactly how you feel. I have that same fear. I’ve had it since I can remember. Whenever in the pool with someone and they get out even for a second, it would freak me out. To me, it is ‘n crippling fear. I’m not sure why. It’s also because of movies. My poison? Deep Blue Sea and Baywatch, yes, Baywatch, because I was only about 5 years old. It’s a sucky fear to have, because we have this beautiful big pool, I’m on Summer Vacation, and I just can’t get myself to get into that pool alone. I don’t have anyone to join me, I’m the last child, my parents work during the day and my brothers and sisters are adults. So yeah. It’s scary, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it. I would like to swim a few laps each morning for exercise, but I guess that won’t be happening anytime soon….

    Reply

  6. Posted by Liane on November 20, 2012 at 3:15 am

    By the way…. Those pictures freaked me the fuck out

    Reply

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