“I Dare Me” Week: Barbara Ciara faces one of her biggest fears

Posted at 12:10 PM, May 19, 2014
and last updated 2015-01-27 11:23:50-05

Has anyone ever dared you to challenge yourself to do something you’ve always wanted to do, or have been too scared to do, or just never gotten around to doing?

The boss dared some of the NewsChannel 3 anchors to “Dare Themselves” this week.

The first victim? Barbara Ciara. (Click here to see Kurt tackle his fear of spiders!)

Here’s Barbara’s story:

I’ve always been frightened of snakes! When I was about 4 or 5, my mom – my hero, who I thought wasn’t fearful of anything, saw a snake and screamed her head off.

I’ve avoided them at all cost ever since.

Dealing with my snake phobia was my dare!

This post on inspired me to pick the snake dare. When I posted it on my Facebook page, I wrote, “How can I get over my fear?”

So many of you were supportive of my “healthy” fear of snakes! But Bobby replied “I had the same problem but when I worked as a docent for a while at the zoo, a wonderful man in charge of snakes/reptiles educated me and helped me confront my fears and defeat them.”

It was a timely suggestion, based on a reporter friend of my boss – LuAnn Cahn. The veteran journalist pushed herself to try something new every single day and wrote the book, “I Dare Me.” So I was assigned to ‘dare myself!’

The Virginia Zoo was the best place, I reasoned, to get over my fear of snakes.

Holding just the snakeskin turned out to be a bigger challenge than even I imagined.

My fear of snakes started with my mom. When I was four, she was fearless! After all, she was the one who scared away the boogeyman. But after a dispute with the paper boy, one day he delivered a little something extra with the morning edition.

As a joke, he put a snake within the pages.

This strong lady, afraid of nothing, let out a scream I will never forget. Since then, just a picture of a snake will send me running.

Back at the zoo, it was time to face my childhood demons.

Educator Rosanne Whitbley told me to control my emotions. Any sudden moves or loud sounds could startle the snake.

No sooner was Magnum the boa constrictor out of his container, I found myself moving further and further away.

I was beginning to feel silly. A nearby construction worker was laughing his hard hat off. It was time to toughen up and move in for a face to face with Magnum. Would it happen? Could I do it?

I touched him! He didn’t bite me. And he was okay with me touching him. I can't believe that just happened!

Feeling inspired to dare yourself? Our challenges were inspired by the book, “I Dare Me.” Click here to check it out!