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Deep fear of water with fish in it

Old 01-03-08, 02:32 PM
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Deep fear of water with fish in it

So, that's what I have, but I want to start doing Triathlons.

I'm good in a pool, but there seem to be very few serious pool oriented tri's.

Any advice?
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Old 01-03-08, 02:57 PM
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Day before tri + dynamite + lake = win.

Hopefully by the next day it won't be too smelly...
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Old 01-03-08, 03:32 PM
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Yes, when you enter the ocean, you enter the food chain. But I wouldn't worry too much about the fish and the sharks, no, you actually stand a much greater chance of drowning than being eaten by the fish. Although I am mostly clowning around here, there are open water clinics out there that you might want to check out.
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Old 01-03-08, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by fzrdave View Post
there are open water clinics out there that you might want to check out.
That's an excellent idea - that and hypnotherapy!
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Old 01-03-08, 05:07 PM
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nonsense.
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Old 01-03-08, 05:10 PM
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^^sorry, had to.

Work on focusing your thoughts while working out in the pool then try to do the same in open water. baby steps.
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Old 01-03-08, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by slim_77 View Post
Yeah, seeing jaws in HS was a bad thing for me. My father used to tell me I was scared the minnows would eat me when I was two.

This goes WAAAAAY back!
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Old 01-03-08, 05:33 PM
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1) Stay out of saltwater, for now. 2) I know this is more of an emotional issue than logical, but you might try snorkeling. Getting down 10 or 12 feet and seeing how afraid most of these fish are of you, might help you realize you don't need to be afraid of them.
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Old 01-03-08, 05:39 PM
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Maybe try spending more time around the water, before going into it? I like going to the seaside and watching the wildlife. If it's a beach with a lot of fish around the area, it's fun to watch them.
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Old 01-03-08, 06:06 PM
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I tried snorkeling about 10 years ago off of Key West - it didn't work out too well. I got about 6 feet from the boat, looked down and saw all the fish, turned around and saw the classic movie image of a bottom of a boat with a propellor, and a lovely panic attack ensued.

Granted, I wasn't as good a swimmer then as I am now, and I have bad eyes, so some was fuzzier than now with contacts and goggles, but the memory is etched in my mind.

Funny thing is, I love being by the water - probably the most relaxing place I can think of. In it is hard though.

I also came close to drowning in the ocean in HS. Big waves and rip currents after a hurricane went up the east coast. A friend pulled me in.

It all adds up to panic.
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Old 01-03-08, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca View Post
I tried snorkeling about 10 years ago off of Key West - it didn't work out too well. I got about 6 feet from the boat, looked down and saw all the fish, turned around and saw the classic movie image of a bottom of a boat with a propellor, and a lovely panic attack ensued.

Granted, I wasn't as good a swimmer then as I am now, and I have bad eyes, so some was fuzzier than now with contacts and goggles, but the memory is etched in my mind.

Funny thing is, I love being by the water - probably the most relaxing place I can think of. In it is hard though.

I also came close to drowning in the ocean in HS. Big waves and rip currents after a hurricane went up the east coast. A friend pulled me in.

It all adds up to panic.
Your fears are irrational and you know it. Intellectually, you know that fish pose very little, if any danger to you. So no matter how many times or ways we tell you that swimming in the ocean is relatively safe, it won't make a difference in your behavior because we're just telling you what you already know.

I had a cousin that was very afraid of flying. His family tried over and over to make him understand that statistically, he was safer in an airplane than a car. He knew this, and could even cite statistics to back this up, but it did nothing to ease his fears. His fear was irrational, as is yours. You can't reason away irrational fears.

You can try to do self-therapy, but it would probably be much quicker and less painful if you saw a psychologist that specializes in overcoming phobias. It's very unfortunate to see someone being held back from a personal goal because of a phobia. I hope you get the help you need to get past it and do a triathlon.
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Old 01-03-08, 10:09 PM
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Would you be afraind of swimming in water that you can't see anything? I've heard people say they are more afraid of seeing what is there then just not being able to see anything. try doing tris that are in lakes or rivers with low visibility?
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Old 01-03-08, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Sprocket Man View Post
You can try to do self-therapy, but it would probably be much quicker and less painful if you saw a psychologist that specializes in overcoming phobias. It's very unfortunate to see someone being held back from a personal goal because of a phobia. I hope you get the help you need to get past it and do a triathlon.
I think you are correct. I'd hoped it wouldn't come to that, but it has. Thank you, I'll look into it in the morning.
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Old 01-03-08, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mtcycle09 View Post
Would you be afraind of swimming in water that you can't see anything? I've heard people say they are more afraid of seeing what is there then just not being able to see anything. try doing tris that are in lakes or rivers with low visibility?
Yeah, dark water is also a non starter. I remember trying to join friends out on a floating lake dock 100 yards or so off shore. Couldn't do it. I even tried floating out in an inner tube, but it wasn't happening.

Oh well. Time to talk to the phobiologist! Nice new word.
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Old 01-04-08, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca View Post
So, that's what I have, but I want to start doing Triathlons.
I'm tempted to just say HTFU but I am curious to know what the fear really is - is it sharks or fish?

The thing to consider in a tri is you'll be surrounded by (potentially) hundreds of people all thrashing away and the last thing you'll be worried about are fish. You'll be way more occupied trying not to get run over, sighting the buoys or catching your breath. As far as sharks, they ain't gonna be interested in hundreds of people thrashing around - and even if they were, you only need to be faster than the slowest swimmer to be safe

Sign up, jump in, go hard - your fear might give you a great swim split.

In all seriousness, I know it seems real now, but I reckon it will vanish when the start gun fires.

/k
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Old 01-04-08, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca View Post
That's an excellent idea - that and hypnotherapy!
Here's an open water clinic for you: http://www.terrischneider.net/clinic.../swimming.html. I don't really know how good that particular one is, but it is in California and I'm sure it would help you.
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Old 01-04-08, 07:04 PM
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my guess is-

Originally Posted by kakman View Post
I'm tempted to just say HTFU but I am curious to know what the fear really is - is it sharks or fish?

The thing to consider in a tri is you'll be surrounded by (potentially) hundreds of people all thrashing away and the last thing you'll be worried about are fish. You'll be way more occupied trying not to get run over, sighting the buoys or catching your breath. As far as sharks, they ain't gonna be interested in hundreds of people thrashing around - and even if they were, you only need to be faster than the slowest swimmer to be safe

Sign up, jump in, go hard - your fear might give you a great swim split.

In all seriousness, I know it seems real now, but I reckon it will vanish when the start gun fires.

/k
Sharks aren't looking for the slowest, there looking for the one that looks lame, so swim with good form and they go after the one thrashing around. But really they want no part of that mess of swimmers up there.
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Old 01-04-08, 07:19 PM
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There are shrinks that specialise in phobias. Consider therapy. I was surprised at how cold the Pacific was (only been there once). And the second thermocline, YEEOOWW! (a thermocline is a layer of water... below that ayer the water is a lot colder. The second layer reminded of a pond in Maine I used to live on. The second thermocline there was like walking into a freezer wet and naked)

You're more likely to get hit by a semi. And less likely to survive...
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Old 01-17-08, 03:04 PM
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I see that you're in Fresno, so I'm assuming that your first tri won't be in ocean water. Try taking a friend with you to a local reservoir. Most of the ones that have public swimming have swim lanes that are still in shallow water (but sometimes seeing the bottom doesn't help). I always feel more comfortable with a friend in the water with me. Also, the swim portion of the tri is kind of like a rugby match in the water, so I don't think trying to break yourself on your first tri would be a good idea. Just my $.02
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Old 01-17-08, 04:12 PM
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Brian,

Fear is fear you have to decide to put it out of your mind. Donít think about it and train where you can face your fear. Swim in the ocean. Iíll tell you this I know of NO Triathlete that as been bitten or eaten by any sea creature. Fear is the mind killer.
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Old 01-17-08, 05:07 PM
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Thank you, and I agree.
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Old 01-17-08, 05:19 PM
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That said, just a few miles north of Pacific Grove, at a State Park, my father-in-law was bit in the thigh by a sea lion while he was swimming about a half mile off shore.

Took a large chunk of his thigh with him.

That was 30 years ago though.
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Old 01-17-08, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca View Post
That said, just a few miles north of Pacific Grove, at a State Park, my father-in-law was bit in the thigh by a sea lion while he was swimming about a half mile off shore.

Took a large chunk of his thigh with him.

That was 30 years ago though.
I use to dive at Pacific Grove and Monterey Bay and around the harbor. The seal lions can get aggressive around mating season. Use to take my fish when I was spear fishing. They were really cool to watch underwater.

Brian, when I was a WSI I use to teach kids and adults to swim. Most had no inhabitations about the water. Granted it was a pool. Those few that were fearful would loose it slowly by getting in the water. I would make them put their faces in the water and float on their back. Of course I supported them and reassured them. It takes time, BUT you got to do it.

Open bodyís of water like the ocean may be to much of a leap. So maybe a clear spring lake thatís deep enough. Swimming well and with confidence is important. Youíll get there if you really want it.
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Old 01-18-08, 12:44 AM
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I've been thinking about vineman. It takes place in a dammed (better than damned, I guess) section of the Russian River where everything is 4 to 5 feet deep. That makes sense to me.
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Old 02-09-08, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca View Post
So, that's what I have, but I want to start doing Triathlons.

I'm good in a pool, but there seem to be very few serious pool oriented tri's.

Any advice?
I had the same problem but when you are in the water and there are hundreds of people around you 1) the chances of a fish coming near you are slim to none and 2) the fear tends to leave just because there are so many other around you
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