Hang-up End-Arounds

I have a lot of hang-ups.

I’ll wait for your chorus of disbelieving protests to fade.

I’m averse to submerging my head, for example. I hate the feeling of water up my nose, and I’m terrified (terrified!) of drowning. I don’t like getting my hands dirty; dirt under my nails is enough to make me feel queasy. I don’t like certain textures in my mouth (especially applesauce or tapioca textures).

And yet I’ve discovered that motivation and context is just about everything. There’s a game that is played on rare, rare occasions at ComedySportz: Oxygen Deprivation. The way the game is played is that at any time, one player must have their face submerged in a bucket of water until he/she is tagged out by another player. They are supposed to justify why their face is wet, although I often find this to be the most boring part of an otherwise ridiculous, fun game.

I have seen it five times in my ten years in ComedySportz. I have reffed it once. I have never played it.

And what may surprise those of you who know how intense my phobia of drowning is: I really want to play the game.

I’ve discovered that when I have an alternate motivation — such as performance, humor, or anything else that gets my adrenaline going — my hang-ups tend to vanish. Somehow, my excitement does an end-around and defeats my aversion.

This tells me that the hang-ups really are just mental blocks that I can get around.

I wonder what else in life follows this pattern.

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