Last week as we walked along the riverfront, we saw a paddle boarder out alone on the East River. He fell time and time again, only to get right back up. I admired his lack of fear: of failure, of embarrassment, of the [possibly questionable] water... Anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where Kramer takes up swimming in the East River??? Perhaps the paddleboarder was terrified of all this and more, but he kept trying anyway.
As I was looking through my photos this morning and saw this image, I found myself thinking back to the fearlessness of the paddle boarder. In the image above, he is owning it – balanced, confident, upright; but peppered throughout my memory card were pictures that told a different story. What inspired me was that for every image that captured him tumbling into the dark water, there was another of him pulling himself back up. Fear or no fear, it's how many times you climb back on that board and find your balance that counts. If life were all smooth sailing, it would probably get pretty boring.
On Monday, Kyle and I are heading upstate to Camp Go Away, a project-based sleep-away camp for photographers. At the same time that I'm really looking forward to it, I'm also a little nervous. What will my project be? Will I find inspiration? Will I be able to push myself creatively? Well, I'll never know until I try. And as I get older and wiser, I realize that magic tends to happen when I have a little fear. So I say to that photo project, "Bring it on!" I'm planning to take my feelings of fear and channel them to find inspiration and growth as a photographer. We'll be sure to post our finished results when we're back on the grid.
What was the last fear you conquered? Share your stories and tips below.