Way back when, my grandparents owned a beautiful house on Lake Winnipesaukee in NH. The house was literally 20 steps from door to lake. They had a dock that my sister, brother and I had to get permission to go on when we were little. As in, picture us standing on the grass, edge of toes on the dock, "May we please come on the dock?". This is how it went every time we wanted to get onto the dock and see the boat or jump off.
My Dad or my Uncle would take me water skiing early in the morning before the lake filled with boaters. I loved water skiing, must have been that need for speed and all. What I did not like was falling. Hey, you fell, you got water up your nose, but then you had to WAIT. It was the waiting that I truly did not like. Waiting meant you had to look out for other boats while you bobbed in the water and waiting meant an easy opportunity for whatever lived below to nibble on your legs and toes.
I read a lot when I was younger and my imagination was HUGE! I could only imagine the type of large catfish, sea turtles, whales, what-have-you living in that (fresh water) lake. So when I fell from water skiing, I would kick a lot and pretty much make a raucous so no 'undersea' creatures would swallow me whole.
As I grew up and would visit other lakes, I would have the same fear. At my friend Melissa's house on Sebago Lake, we would swim out to a raft and jump off it for hours. Yes, there was rumored to be some gigantic fish living under that raft, though I never saw it. It kept me moving once I jumped in the water, though. Line at the ladder? No worries, I would leap up onto the side of the raft. No sense in giving that fish any opportunity of my toes for lunch.
So, yes, I still have a fear of middle of lakes and make sure I am in constant motion or with a bunch of people when I am in the water. Today, BB and I were floating(not swimming) on a lake. We were on floaties, me on my stomach, him on his back with our feet dangling in the water. (The greenish, murky, deep water...)
Well, he learned that
a. I can move really quickly when I need to.
b. That I have a large imagination of underwater enemies.
c. And that when a fish bites my toe (and yes, one did), my reaction is the funniest thing ever.
Just add a few more gray hairs to my head...