Discovery Channel Shark Week DVD Set: Yikes!

I was walking through a supermarket last week and saw a boxed set of all the Discovery Channel Shark Week series. Being a lover of these types of documentaries, I bought one thinking it would be cool to learn more about sharks.
Last week, I went to get my haircut and while waiting for it, I was watching this big plasma TV which had the Discovery Channel on and apparently was rolling through all the Shark Week episodes. This particular episode showed some recreated shark attacks. There were repeated scenes of tourists jumping into the water while somewhere offshore of a tropical island. They frolick in the water, and then somebody gets a tug on their leg and down they go! The water turns red, lots of thrashing about, and then they pull the survivor out of the water usually with a missing limb.
First, I told the person who was cutting my hair that I didn’t know if it would be good for business if they kept showing all this bloody water caused by big fish biting limbs off people because there were kids sitting around waiting for haircuts too.
Second, I realized that while it would have been cool to watch this DVD set when I got home, I realized that I was better off not watching it.
Triathletes are always swimming some kind of course in the ocean. We try to cross from Alcatraz to San Francisco, we swim from one end of Waikiki Beach to the other, or we’re just doing 2.4 miles off the beach as the first leg of Ironman. In some sense, we’re not worrying about the OTHER occupants of the sea; we’re just trying to get to the finish line. But sometimes, when you’re swimming, you either can see for a long ways around you since the water is crystal clear, or the water is just this dark, murky mystery.
In either case, I remember my mind sometimes wandering off and imagining seeing some dark form swimming around and then getting closer and closer, maybe seeing the triangular fin break water close by. It doesn’t matter if it’s clear or murky. When it’s clear, you start wondering when the form is going to show up. When it’s murky, you start dreading that godawful tug on your leg when something takes a bite of you and starts dragging you down.
But once you do a couple of races, you tend to get over it and focus only on the race. Otherwise you’ll go crazy. It does take some time to get used to though. Wild animals in the ocean are no fun. I’ve been accosted by a monk seal while snorkeling at Captain Cook’s bay in the Big Island of Hawaii and gotten scratched and nipped by a 800 lbs, 6 foot long huge wild animal! That took me a while to get over it but I still won’t go to Aquatic Park in San Francisco, after hearing that the seals there are getting more aggressive around swimmers.
So I could watch Shark Week but it would probably just make my anxiety level go sky high for ocean swimming….just what I don’t need!
Alas, my Shark Week DVD box set will stay unopened and I will hopefully remain blissfully ignorant of those toothy predators that inhabit most oceans, right where we triathletes like to swim and compete…