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The High Dive of Life: A Moment With Bill Reflection


When I was a child my family would go on picnics to Surprise Lake here in western Washington. It was only a fifteen minute drive from our home, and the beach was big enough to handle most weekend crowds. Families from all over would go there to beat the heat and wash away the grime of a work week, and everywhere you looked there were children running in and out of the water, laughing and splashing, frolicking and screeching. Fun times indeed!

One other thing I remember about that lake was that it had a high dive in the middle of the lake. One could swim out about fifty yards to a floating platform. From there you would climb a ladder to a diving board perched fifty feet above the water, and those who had eaten their Wheaties and were feeling a bit reckless could stand above the crowds and take the plunge. Oohs and aahs would greet the divers as they surfaced after their death-defying dives.

For years I watched and wondered what it must be like to do what they had done, and for years I told myself that when I got older I would be one of those brave souls. Of course my mother had other thoughts on the matter. No child of hers was going to dive fifty feet, risking life and limb, and I admit that a part of me was quite thankful for her reticence in letting her baby boy do such a ridiculous thing.

The day did come, however, when I was sixteen and not under the watchful eye of my mother. My friends and I had driven out to the lake one hot July afternoon, and there was no protective Madonna to prevent me from testing my own level of stupidity.

Out to the float I swam, and up the rungs of the ladder I climbed, and then….and then….the chilly breath of fear seeped into my marrow and rendered me paralyzed. My legs suddenly had the muscle mass of Jello, and my heart beat to the rhythm of a hummingbird. In truth, what had started out as a lark on a sun-kissed afternoon, had magically transformed into a defining moment in life.

Will you dive?

Will you dive?

Bravery does have limits....my dad.

Bravery does have limits....my dad.


How many times, during his lifetime, does a man face fear? How many times does a woman “face the elephant” and wonder if this will be the time when she backs down and concedes defeat to that which has haunted her for a years?

We all have them. Like Wallanda the Magnificent, standing precariously above the crowd, feet placed on a thin wire, hoping that calm winds continue till she reaches the other side, we all walk a tightrope without a safety net. Of course we have our friends for temporary support. Of course our families are there when needed, but during those quiet times when it is just us and our thoughts, we face the high dive of life, and those are the times we separate the fantasy from the reality.

Talk is cheap and it is oh so easy to say we are not afraid. We banish doubts with the flippant remark, and we proclaim to the world that we have no worries, but really that is just so much whistling in the dark, keeping the wolves at a safe distance….unfortunately it only works when the wolves are not hungry.

We come into this world alone and alone we are when our fears must be faced, for no crowd of supporters can silence the inner voice that says run, run as fast as you can.

My father was the bravest man I have ever known, but he was relegated to mere mortal status after a mild heart attack in November, 1968. His life changed that day when tightness gripped his chest and breathing became, not a guarantee, but a precarious gift from the gods. Bravery was tossed to the junk heap that day to be replaced by the knowledge that we all have a limited warranty. Three months later he was dead, and he spent those last three months looking over his shoulder and whistling as loudly as he could.

I had not climbed the ladder when this picture was taken, but I soon would.

I had not climbed the ladder when this picture was taken, but I soon would.


Yes, we all fear. There is nothing remarkable about fear, but there is an abundance of remarkable in how many of us face that fear.

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
Rosa Parks

Knowing what must be done….therein is the key.

I read the other day about a family that was in a car crash. The two cars caught on fire almost immediately. The mother in one car was thrown free of the car upon impact, and the teenage son released his seat belt and ran from the car and joined his mother. It was then that the two of them realized that the two youngest children were still in the car.

Without hesitation the teenage boy ran back to the burning car and freed his siblings and carried them to safety.

Do you suppose he was fearful as he ran back to that car engulfed in flames?

Knowing what must be done.

It could be argued that the day I stood on that fifty foot diving board, I did not have to be there and I certainly did not have to dive, but I think that is a rather limited and narrow-minded view of the situation, simply because it is vital, if we are to live our lives free of paralysis, that we face our fears.

An old man walks by a levy and notices water slowly trickling from a small leak. If he had not been looking closely he would never have seen it, so small was that leak. No reason to panic for sure, and to many others there would be no reason to say a word about it. Still the man told authorities, because he knew that the small leak had the potential to become a serious breach in the system and could eventually lead to flooding.

So it is with our fears. Some may seem insignificant in nature. What does it matter whether that fear, on that day, is faced? There will always be tomorrow and another opportunity, right? And yet that one small fear, when not faced, has the potential to grow daily, gathering other fears with it, until it has become so large and so formidable as to seem insurmountable. Slowly, over time, our legs refuse to answer the call, and our breathing becomes labored, and we are so busy guarding against our fears that we have forgotten the freedom that is inherent in fearless action.

Sit with me a moment


Phobos rode into battle with fiery eyes and teeth flashing, a Greek god who rode side by side with many into the chasm of human frailty. Some turned around, so fierce was his visage; others rode on despite the possibility of injury and death, tossing aside Phobos and refusing to succumb to his threats.

Will you retreat from Phobos or will you ride on and gain control of your fears?

I say to you that we were not given this gift of life to run in fear. I say to you that we were given wings with which to help us soar above fear and I say that life, dictated by fear, is barely life at all.

I learned well from my father. I remember him risking injury one day to help neighbors as their house was burning. I remember him serving five campaigns in Italy during World War 2. I remember him in countless other acts of bravery, all defining him as a man who faced fear and refused to back down, and yes, I remember those last three months of his life when he could no longer find the resources with which to fight a fear he could not overcome.

He was, in a very real sense, the perfect metaphor for all of us who struggle daily in life. We go toe to toe with little fears, medium fears and whopper fears, and most definitely there are those fears we refuse to take on. We move forward despite it all, because to do otherwise is to invite Phobos into our hearts and psyches, and we all sense that to do that is to invite a disaster of spirit.


I’m older now, and hopefully wiser. I have not been back to Surprise Lake in many decades and yet it is with me daily. Every time I am faced with doubts and reluctance I am standing on that diving board. Every time I feel my skin grow clammy and the sweat begin to bead on my forehead, I am standing on that diving board. Every single time I begin to question my abilities and embrace my weaknesses, I am left on that diving board with a decision to make. I can either dive off and bask in one more instance of overcoming, or I can climb back down the ladder and say hello to Phobos at the bottom.

Today I choose to dive.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 05, 2019:

Ouch, MizB...that must have been a bit painful. I just remember the bottoms of my feet hurting for days. :)

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 04, 2019:

Bill, I wondered how I'd missed this one, but it is a rerun and I may not have made your acquaintance back then. Anyway, I understand you point about the diving board. Our high dive at the pool where I worked as a teenager wasn't nearly that high, but I have memories of the first time I dived in. I didn't hit right and blistered my upper chest and shoulders. I don't think I ever dived from that board again, but I jumped in feet first many times. I think sometimes we have to go after our problems feet first rather than facing them head on. And I'm not sure what my point is by saying that, unless it is sometimes ya have to gingerly take an alternate route. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 04, 2019:

PS, I'm not sure how many "new fears" one person is supposed to face, but I think you have exceeded your limit. Sending hugs and love your way, my friend.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 03, 2019:

I have faced some fears head on but there are a few that have not been conquered yet. I have made some attempt to climb that mountain to face off with them but they still remain unresolved. One day....I have some new fears that I have just had to face in the last 24 hours----new illness has befallen a much loved one...one more hurdle that challenges me. Thank you for sharing, Bill----hoping all is good with you and yours including your pup. Angels once again are bringing blessing and hugs your way ps

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 03, 2017:

Richard, I know for a fact, standing at the top of that bad boy had my knees shaking. I envied my friends who could do it without a care.

Richard Vert on February 03, 2017:

My little crew and I went to Hi Dive in the early 70's after the 50 footer had been taken out but there was still the tower on the dock with a 10 , 20 , 30 and 40 foot level . I was about 12 at the time and climbed up to the 20 and was scared to death . No way . Back down I climbed to the 10 . It was just right . My favorite was the slide though . Oh to be young again !!!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 17, 2013:

Rajan, a lovely comment with which to begin my day. Thank you my friend, and I hope your week is filled with wonder.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 16, 2013:

Brilliant and motivating hub as always. Making up one's mind to overcome that moment of fear is the defining moment. Thanks for this useful and powerful piece of writing.

Have a wonderful week ahead, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 15, 2013:

Crystal, it seems to me that there is only one certainty in your situation. If you stay where you are you will be miserable. Kind of makes the decision clearer, doesn't it?

Thank you for your kind words and I hope things work out for you.


Crystal Tatum from Georgia on June 15, 2013:

Wow, this is so well-written and so inspiring. I love the notion that knowing what needs to be done and doing it dispels fear. I am currently facing a scary situation, and I have the chance to stay where I am and stay miserable, or leave and possibly be miserable still, or maybe, just maybe, have a better life. There's no way to know, and I'm not really even sure what the right thing is, but I am tired of living in fear. Many thanks for this hub, it is very timely for me.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 14, 2013:

Anna, thank you so much. I think this is an important message for all who have frozen in the face of fear....we must reach out beyond our comfort zone in order to grow.

Anna Haven from Scotland on June 14, 2013:

A great metaphorical tale. This flows beautifully.

A positive hopeful message and also inspiring to take that step outside of the comfort zone. Anna

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 14, 2013:

Lurana, thank you! That's what we writers do, right? I know you do.

Have a fantastic weekend!

MrsBrownsParlour on June 14, 2013:

I can see why. You are re-writing that moment, literally and symbolically. It's very inspiring!!! :-)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 14, 2013:

Thank you Lurana. Every writer has his/her personal favorites, and this was one of mine. :)

MrsBrownsParlour on June 14, 2013:

Really well-written...fear is powerful and we have all had those defining moments of decision. You speak to those memories in all of us, and inspire us to make the courageous choices today. I really enjoyed this one!! ~Lurana

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 14, 2013:

Michael, it is always good to see you my friend. Your recollections are poignant and serve as a wonderful reminder that everything is perspective.....what should be fearful to one person really isn't because he/she has seen much worse. Thank you for that wonderful reminder.


Michael-Milec on June 13, 2013:

Good evening William.

Great , memory refreshing article of life's constant companion to deal with as it comes. My first lived through fear experience surviving roof taking down tornado which I thought has been caused by me, created kind of immunity against any upcoming fears.( numerous of them during WW 2). No fear mettered much any more. That stormy afternoon a little boy crying called to God asking to be spared , and when it has happened, I've been under impression , it will happen in any time of need. In your words, " walking a tight rope without safety net..." is actually "safe" because of an invisible safety net. What is fear anyway ...especially knowing , that " there's no fear in the perfect love of God" - facing inevitable...

Voting up, useful and awesome.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 13, 2013:

Deb, there is no doubt you understand this hub. I knew you would. :) Thanks as always my friend.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 13, 2013:

Facing fear head on, no matter what it is, shows either great fortitude of the lack of sensibility. It is up to you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 13, 2013:

Looking forward to it, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 13, 2013:

You too billybuc! Still running around and downing my coffee this morning, but I'll be up and commenting soon!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 13, 2013:

Perhaps some day you will share those stories with us, Suzette. I know I'd love to read them.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on June 13, 2013:

Very interesting and thought provoking, Bill. I have stood on that diving board figuratively and literally - and I have dived. Oh my! Interesting stories there. lol

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 13, 2013:

Have a great day, epbooks....I'll be by to see you latest hub shortly.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 12, 2013:

Lol :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Walter, your secret is now out. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

LOL....too funny, epbooks. :)

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 12, 2013:

Hmm- so if you reserve words of praise for your enemies, then in theory, I should hope I never receive words of praise from you? :)

Poon Poi Ming from Malaysia on June 12, 2013:

QUOTE: "epbooks, thank you for those kind words. I have a hard time with words of praise." -- Billybuc

Epbooks, you must learn how to read characters. I know Billybuc has a hard time with words of praise and that's precisely why I never use them in my comments to his hubs. I reserve my words of praise for my enemies because I love giving them a hard time...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Thank you as always PS....the struggle makes it all worth it in my humble opinion.

Blessings and a big old hug coming your way


Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 12, 2013:

Yeppie. Been on that high dive. Sweat & all...for too long I was unable to take the plunge...and even at times now it is a struggle but every time I do a little more of the angst chips away. As I have grown to expect. You said it well...Angels are in the air

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Thank you Express....I appreciate you reflection and kind words.

H C Palting from East Coast on June 12, 2013:

I enjoyed reading this, facing our fears is something that must be done. If you don't you will not grow, but as the years wear on you will grow to regret not facing your fears. This is an excellent hub.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Very true, vkwok...very true indeed.

Victor W. Kwok from Hawaii on June 12, 2013:

No one his exempt from fear, be it minor or serious.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

epbooks, no worries there...writing is my passion and I'll keep doing what I need to do to reach the level I think I should reach. :) Thank you again for your kindness.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 12, 2013:

I can tell you for sure that you have a gift! You engage your readers with informative, yet interesting writing. It's not like reading a lecture; it's more creative than that. I do hope that you develop it and keep going!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

epbooks, thank you for those kind words. I have a hard time with words of praise. If I truly do have a gift then I need to develop it and reach as many people as I possibly can....and your words tell me I'm on the right track. Thank you!

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 12, 2013:

As I'm beginning to notice more and more as I read your hubs, you have a gift, a knack for striking a chord, driving the point home and reaching people on a fantastic level! I love the part where you wrote "during those quiet times when it is just us and our thoughts" because sometimes those are the most frightening, more so than heights or spiders. Great hub, voted up of course!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Dianna, thank you so much. I'm just trying to improve and at the same time deliver some messages about life. I appreciate your kind words my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Thank you Eddy! I'm just trying to improve my craft and inspire along the way. I appreciate you validating that. Have a great day my friend.



Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Bill, that is high praise and I thank you for it. There are some hubs I take more time on to get them just right...this was one of them.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Martin, I would imagine that you do. Thank you for sharing that.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Thank you Phoenix and I love having coffee with you in the mornings. :) Thanks for asking your last question...that's what I wanted to leave the reader with, a questioning but a sense that I did dive that day.....and yes, I did. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Natasha, I can understand that, and congratulations for overcoming the fear while in the midst of it. Not an easy thing to do. Thanks for sharing that.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Ruby, I totally agree with you. Not every fear has to be faced; in fact, it would be foolish to face some of them. Avoiding heights makes good sense since in the big picture it makes no difference whether you are afraid of them or not. :) Thank you as always, Ruby!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 12, 2013:

Mark, I like your reflection on fear and pain.....I appreciate you sharing my friend. Sending you positive vibes this morning, and thank you!

Dianna Mendez on June 12, 2013:

This had me pulled in from the beginning, what an excellent piece on facing your fear. You are gifted writing and your words will help many to take courage when faced with a "diving off the board".

Eiddwen from Wales on June 12, 2013:

Another brilliant hub Billy which I am sure teaches and inspires so many writers to carry on. You are a wonderful writer and friend Billy. Lots of love from my little corner of Wales.


Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on June 12, 2013:

A work of art Bill. You had me riveted to your every word. Thank you again for you words of wisdom. Have a great day.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on June 12, 2013:

Thank you for this. Due to my handicap, I daily find myself in a strange new world.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 12, 2013:

I don't know if you would call it 'facing your fears' or being just plain ornery, but I tend to rush into things that others avoid. I just have to know what behind that door. When I was younger, I did this constantly. It was a learning curve. These days, based on those past experiences, I'm a little more careful about where I rush to. Fear or common sense, you decide. lol

How I do enjoy reading your hubs. Sitting here with a cup of coffee and taking in your pearls of wisdom; it's like chatting with an old friend. It's my morning ritual now and I can't start day without stopping by. One question: Did you actually dive that day? I get impression you did, but you didn't actually say. I like to believe you did.

Natasha from Hawaii on June 11, 2013:

I have to say...I pretty much thought I was going to die when I was getting my Scuba certification last week! About 20 feet down on my first dive I started freaking out thinking about what was actually going on and was getting ready to go into full fledged panic mode when I realized that nothing bad would happen if I just calmed down. They'd drilled me on finding my regular if it got bumped out, clearing my mask of water, and basically anything else that could happen at that depth. It was really difficult, but I'm happy I decided to take the reigns and keep going!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 11, 2013:

It is very difficult to face ones fears espically if it is embedded when a child. I have always been afraid of heights. I have never been able to overcome that fear.. Sometimes i think it is better to realize the fear is real and you do not necessarly have to overcome it. I just stay away from high places..I see your point here and it is a good one..

Curiad on June 11, 2013:

I think fear can be thought of in a similar fashion to pain. It is not there to weaken us, it is our inner mind warning us of a conflict (Which usually is between our ears). Pain in a like manor, is not something we should eliminate, but something we shoild listen to. It carries a message of something wrong and is a warning to pay attention.

Great article written in a very clean and understandable way Bill!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Reba, your words are true and thank you for adding them here. As for inspiring people.....it's what I try to do and thankfully I accomplish it from time to time. :)

blessings to you my friend


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Thank you Carol, and best of luck with that decision. They are not easy at times, but sometimes they are necessary.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

drbj, she was a beauty for sure. I remember her well from my childhood.

Thank you my loyal friend. You are greatly appreciated.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 11, 2013:

Funny, Bill, that one of your commenters and yourself mentioned Esther Williams, the famous actress who first became famous as a swimmer and diver. To me, she always represented someone not afraid to face fears. RIP, Esther. She died last week at the age of 91.

carol stanley from Arizona on June 11, 2013:

I was also wondering if you jumped...Facing fear..a tough task. I am contemplating something right now..and afraid of the outcome..which I do fear will not be good..I can avoid and go on with nothing changed in my life. Well written about something in life we all face.

Dancing Water on June 11, 2013:

Beautiful, Bill! It is when our hearts are full of purpose__something greater than ourselves__that fear leaves us, and we step up to meet the challenge before us. I am so grateful that when someone needs help, fear flees, and I only think of how I can help.

As usual, you inspire people to reach out to their better selves.

Blessings always, dear friend,


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Pearl, important lessons seem to take us a lifetime, don't they? Or at least it seems that way. I guess as long as we eventually learn them then all is well my friend.

Thank you for your kindness and support.


Connie Smith from Southern Tier New York State on June 11, 2013:

Billy, I tend to put myself in His hands when fear grips me, as it does quite often. He is always there to help me know that I have to face up to it. Fear disappears at that point. But this is something that has taken me many years to learn. Excellent as always, my wise friend ;) Pearl

Voted Up +++

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Walter, I'm going to have visions of you swimming like a frog all day long now. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Here, here Walter....love it!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Mary, I did jump...that seemed easier than facing the embarrassment after I climbed back down. :) It definitely hurt but it was worth it. :)

Thank you dear lady!

Poon Poi Ming from Malaysia on June 11, 2013:

Tillsontitan, if you really want to swim, take a basic course. It doesn't cost much. In 3-4 lessons, you will be able to swim. And after you learn how to swim, it will stay with you for life.

I didn't swim for more than 10 years but recently, I decided I needed some exercise and was surprised that I did not lose a single bit of whatever skills I had acquired before!

My friends used to teach me (for free) but I never succeeded. Actually, swimming is easy. As long as you are relaxed, you will naturally float. Is that not why dead bodies always float in water, LOL. What you need to do is to learn how to move your hands and legs efficiently, so that you expend minimal energy. But no matter what you do, as long as you move your hands backwards (in whatever angle), your body will move forward and when you move your hands downwards (not necessarily vertical, but at 45-60°), your body will move upwards to allow you to take a breath.

The biggest stumbling block to swimming is fear. Once you overcome fear, you will swim like a duck... maybe not duck, I swim like a frog and sometimes, like a dog.

Poon Poi Ming from Malaysia on June 11, 2013:

QUOTE: " At my age, what do I have to lose by taking chances and facing fear?"

As they age, those who have sacrificed their whole life accumulating wealth will have more to fear than those who have not. And there's no question as to which group the one making the above statement belongs, LOL.

Mary Craig from New York on June 11, 2013:

Did you jump off the diving board? I grew up in Queens, NY. No place to really swim. We went to a public pool one day and when I said I couldn't swim my "friends" said jump in the 13' end of the pool and you'll swim. Fearless me! The lifeguard who pulled me out was very nice.

I still face my fears but I balance it with a little more common sense than I did then. I so agree Bill, if we don't face our fears they build and will eventually overcome us. Another great lesson sensei!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Linda, it's a funny thing about getting older....I have heard several people say that, and I guess it make sense. At my age, what do I have to lose by taking chances and facing fear? LOL Thank you for the visit and good luck with that stress.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Walter, my son should write but he does not...as for the price of a bungee jump, I'm not sure I would do it for free. LOL

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Wow, Lizzy...maybe I need to re-think this hub. If that's all you have to say it must be a real downer. :)

Thank you and yes, you are a dear friend.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on June 11, 2013:

Excellent hub! It seems that the older I get the more I kick fear to the curb. I'm working on doing the same with stress :)

Poon Poi Ming from Malaysia on June 11, 2013:

Billybuc, it would be poetic rhythm, if your son writes something like this, LOL. By the way, is your son on HubPages?

I was in New Zealand for my honeymoon and there was this bungee jump down a deep ravine. The resort wanted NZ$80 (if I remember correctly) for the jump, but I find the price steeper than the ravine, hahaha.

Liz Davis from Hudson, FL on June 11, 2013:

Great writing, my dear friend. I'm afraid I have nothing to add.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

BNadyn, great reflection on your part. That is funny about the monkey bars....where does that fear come from? If we could answer that question maybe we wouldn't have any fear. :) I know I don't do a lot of things I once did without hesitation...like climbing trees. :)

Thanks for the visit and great reflection.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Janine, take care of the little one. I hate to see them in pain. Always feel so helpless. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Cat, we all have those moments and memories. It's amazing how a little event like that can be so meaningful for us. Thanks for sharing your perfect example of what this hub is all about.

Take care my friend and I hope you are having a great day.


Bernadyn from Jacksonville, Florida on June 11, 2013:

It's funny how fear works because it doesn't matter what age you are, it'll find a way to creep up on you. When I was a kid, I remember being fearless when it came to the monkey bars on the playground. Now, as an adult, I've become a little afraid of them! I was recently with my kids on the playground. My son is now the fearless one, climbing the tall makeshift rock climbing walls we have here at our park along with all the other things on the playground. He wanted me to go up with him on the monkey bars and hang from them. I got nervous and didn't do it! I remember swinging from those bars all the time on the school playground and hanging from them upside down with my legs holding me up. I never thought I'd ever become afraid of them. Maybe next time I face those bars I'll give them a try again! I like how you remember your past fear when new ones arise, that's a great tool to use. Inspiring video, too; living in fear isn't living at all and neither is living with regrets . Voted up, enjoy your day =)

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on June 11, 2013:

Wonderful choice Bill and just as was about to catch up Lily is awake and crying. She has double ear infections, so I make this quick. Thank you Bill and seriously wonderful lesson indeed!!

Cat from New York on June 11, 2013:


I remember the summer I learned to dive off the dock over 8 feet of water at my camp. I dove all summer and though a little kid, I felt very big. The next summer, I was suddenly terrified to dive; probably after having seen the anti-drug commercial with the girl diving into an empty pool had something to do with it. It took me halfway through summer to get the courage to dive again, but I did not face it head on. I just threw myself into the water, kind of head first. I went all the way to the bottom and scraped my foot against the 2x2 cement slab covering the drain at the bottom of this manmade beach. I came up from the water, foot bleeding; a little startled, but I dove again! Once I realized the dive did not kill me, I was back on that dock and dove until my heart was content! I still have the scar, a constant reminder of hesitation... but I still dive!

Thanks Billy, I always get your message :D

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

MzB, thank you for sharing your personal reflections about your husband....too scary for sure....and talk about a reason for appreciating each and every day. Great story. As for couple that break up out of fear....I simply do not understand it. Obviously they did not listen to the marriage vows.

Thank you again for such a great comment.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Dahlia, thank you and I'm so happy that you learned this lesson at a young age. What a gift that is, to be fear-free.

Blessings and a hug coming your way


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Great memories, Faith. I know about your middle sister and I say Hooray for her...it is so important to face our fears, especially the older we get...we need to live this life to the fullest because hey, we only get one shot at it.

Blessings and love coming your way, as well as a ton of thanks


livingsta from United Kingdom on June 11, 2013:

Thank you for this Bill. I have learned this lesson the hard way. It is good to face the fear and overcome it, than to run away and live in fear forever.

Sharing this Bill. Have a good day my friend.

Sending you hugs and blessings :-)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Jackie, you raised an interesting question....do we lose fear with age or do we not take chances? I know for me I lost fear, but I'm not sure that is true of most people. Interesting...I'll have to give that some thought.

Thanks as always, Jackie, and have a great day in the beautiful South.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Randi, thank you so much. I liked that phrase too. LOL Is it okay for me to say that?

Wisdom I'm still working on but I'm getting there. :) Have a great day!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on June 11, 2013:

I find your personal anecdote very interesting because I think all of us who can swim have been on that board at one time or another. My high dive wasn’t 50 feet high, thank goodness, so I made the plunge.

The story of your father was very interesting. Facing that type of fear can be a real challenge. In 1983, Mr. B had a mild heart attack, and the doctors said his heart was bad and that bypasses wouldn’t help. I think this made me love him even more, and the next year we were married. A year later he had the big one and actually died on the table. Only the creator brought him back, and we have lived every year knowing it may be our last. Thanks to modern medication, bypasses that did help and stints and a little help from on high, this September will be our 29th anniversary.

It really angers me when I see people who won’t stand behind those they love because of their fears. I like detective shows, and in so many I’ve seen, after a near-miss by the cop husband, the wife says, “I love you, honey, but I just can’t live like this.” She takes the kids and leaves the one who needs her support. I just want to strangle her, but I guess it’s good TV. Does this really happen in real life? There many other types of fears, too, like going into business for oneself, changing jobs or careers, moving to another location, etc.

A person shouldn’t cut himself or herself off from an opportunity because of fears, but many do. On the contrary, one should listen to that still small voice that says “don’t do it,” and not mistake it for fear.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 11, 2013:

Oh, I really felt this one because I was in that same situation as a kid and having so many brothers I competed with I could never be called a sissy. lol It was a miracle I did not break my neck.

Doesn't fear become less as we get older? Or do we just never take those risky chances? Fear will test our bravery sooner or layer.

An exciting read, I know we all stood with you up there as we do here.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Joe, I am humbled and honored.....your writing reflects mine in so many ways, and the opposite is also true. It is good to find a brother in writing....someone who appreciates the finer things in life and who does not settle for less than the best effort.

Thank you my friend and aloha to you.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Vellur, thank you my friend....no, it is not easy, but it must be done in order to live life to the fullest. :)

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on June 11, 2013:

Bill, you write with "an abundance of remarkable" What a great phrase! What a great hub. How often we are perched on the high dive of indecisiveness? Thank you! May we always have the courage to dive when we need to and the wisdom to know when not to!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on June 11, 2013:

I used to run from my fears, but something happened when I turned 30, and I guess I had some sort of revelation and decided I was not going to live in fear any longer, and from that point on, I do not!

You standing on that high dive, reminded me of growing up when we went to the YMCA for swimming lessons, and when it came time for us to jump off that diving board, I just froze up, my legs locked and I made quite a few people behind me in line very mad! I would reluctantly jump in, but head straight for the side instead of swimming straight down the middle, which they did not like that either, but I about half drowned just trying to swim to the side of the Olympic size pool. However, my little sister, who is ten years younger than I (I have a middle sister too), but this little sis of mine, had to have been just about three years olds, had no fear whatsoever, and she climbed to the high dive and dove and swam like a little fish. I was so amazed at her courage, or the lack thereof! Maybe it was her young age, not knowing about fear yet?

Speaking of my middle sister, I am so proud of her right now, as she is facing her fears of the past, and is moving forward in her life despite all of the unknown, making a goal for a brighter and happier life for herself.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

Lovely insightful write here dearest Bill.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 11, 2013:

It is easy to say that we are not scared to take the jump, it is a totally different story when we have to actually do it. To face our fears and take that dive is a tough task but we have to keep trying. Another great write on life. Voted up.

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on June 11, 2013:

A great metaphor from a defining moment in your past, Bill! Thank you for this beautiful and inspirational piece, just one more reason that reinforces my zeal in dropping your name every now and then when I comment on someone else's eloquence or respond to gracious comments about my writing. At our age, we don't wait until someone's passed on to talk about how their talent and genius touched our lives--we do it in the very moment we were moved! And you, my friend, move mountains in me with your writing. Aloha and mahalo, Bill!


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Rasma, as you know I have read many of your beautiful works, and in my opinion you are putting Estelle to shame. :) Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Sha, it's always a pleasure. Thank you for the kind words. I put a little extra effort into this one and it's nice to have it recognized as special.



Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Shiela, a wise man once told me that we have to pick our battles....that's what you do....save up for the really big fears that need facing. :) Thank you my friend and have a wonderful day.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2013:

Thank you DDE....I'm always grateful that you stop by. Have a wonderful evening my friend.

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