Courage: Grace Under Pressure

“Courage is grace under pressure” is a famous quotation by Ernest Hemingway. Tell us about a personal moment of your grace under pressure.

In the Oxford English Dictionary, courage is defined as:

the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery

Fear and, therefore, courage comes in many different guises.  What frightens one person won’t necessarily frighten someone else.  The Man is scared of heights and can’t even stand on a 2-step ladder without getting shaky whereas I stood on the edge of Victoria Falls to get a photo of the rainbow with no fear whatsoever.

So, what is/was my fear?  What did I over come?  The ability to drive through a ford.  Shortly after I passed my driving test, I was driving The Man home and we came to a ford.  I couldn’t drive through it.

Rye Water Ford via

This isn’t the ford I was trying to cross but it is similar.  I was driving The Man, the driver trainer, and the ford was near his house so he knew it was safe and easy to drive through.  For some reason, I just froze.  I couldn’t get myself to drive the car slowly through the water.  It didn’t matter how much The Man tried to coach me through it, my brain wouldn’t connect to my feet and hands to drive the car through.  In the end, we had to change places so The Man could drive through.

I did get through the ford, one day.  So, what gave me the confidence to do it?  Another of my fears actually, horse riding.  My sister had a horse which was stabled next to the ford and she rode to The Man’s flat (I’d moved in my this time) and invited me to ride her horse back to the stables.  Now, I’m not scared of horses but I’m not particularly keen on riding them but I will, very occasionally, like once every 10 years!  I agreed to go for a ride and, as it was a hot day, my sister asked me to walk the horse into the ford so he could cool off.  I walked the horse in, no problem.  How can I walk a horse in to the ford but not drive a car through it?  I think it may have something to do with the height of the horse but also the fact that I had a better view of the ford from the back of a horse rather than behind the wheel of a car.

The next time I needed to drive through the ford, I had no problem.  Now I’m happy to drive through water, if I know how deep it is.  I’m not stupid, I don’t want to get my car stuck in some flood water or have water seeping into my car.