Sunday, July 15, 2012

Before 40: June 2

Would you believe that I forgot I did two "Before 40" things in June!  That fact is even more shocking when I tell you what I did.  Maybe I blocked it from my memory since it was so traumatic.

For as long as I can remember, I have been completely terrified of snakes.  I remember going to a friend's house in junior high and there was a tiny little garter snake on her walkway.  I screamed so loud her mom almost called 911.  I remember taking a class of preschool kids on a field trip to the zoo, and all of them asking why I was standing so far away from the snakes.  I remember taking Dylan to a zoo class, and when the zoo lady pulled out a snake, sitting there shaking, trying not to let Dylan and the other kids see my fear.

I wanted to conquer my fear.  So, one day when we were on our way home from a birthday party, we drove past a pet store.  This wasn't a normal pet store, with sweet little puppies and kittens.  It is an "exotic" pet store, and I knew what that meant.  On a complete whim, I told Jim to pull in.

I explained to the worker that I was trying to conquer my fear of snakes, and she brought out "something small" - a corn snake.  She let me take it slow... first she held it and I stood MUCH closer than I am comfortable standing to a snake.  Then, I touched the back half, avoiding the head.  Eventually, she let me hold it.  At this point, every fiber of my being was screaming "RUN AWAY!  RUN AWAY!", but there I stood, watching a snake slither up my arm.  When its head starting going up pretty far, and it started sticking its tongue out, I finally had to bow out.

I will say that when you see the pictures, I look very calm.  Apparently my body goes into shock and outwardly I appear calm and still, but inside I am FREAKING OUT.  Oh, and I didn't breathe the entire time.  It's a miracle I didn't pass out.  I also realized afterwards, that while holding the snake I had absolutely no idea what Jim and Dylan were doing.  Dylan could have been climbing into the king cobra's cage and Jim could have been making out with the owner.  I wouldn't have known.  I was completely focused on that darn snake.  I conquered my fear.  But, if I go past a garter snake and scream like a little girl... don't hold it against me.


Brooke said...

YOU ARE BRAVE! Yikes.... that would freak me out too ;D Proud of you, girl!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You are very brave AND you look fantastic!

Elissa said...

good for you, jen! although... i must say your outward "calm" appearance is totally given away by the muscles in your neck!!! you look so tense that your head could just blow off your body!!!!

Baby By The Sea said...

Duude, I would have freaked. Good for you!

Positively Angel said...

Yikes! Great job Jen! You look like you hold snakes everyday :)