“I Dare Me” Week: Kurt dares himself to encounter creepy-crawly spiders!

Posted at 8:50 AM, May 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-20 17:37:30-04

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.

Barbara's dare was first. She confronted her fear of snakes. Kurt was up next. Here's his story...

Inside a glass case at Animal Jungle in Virginia Beach is something that freaks me out. SPIDERS! But Joe Ellis, the reptile manager points out, "Your house is full of spiders-- probably have no idea how many are there." That doesn't make me feel any better but Joe is gonna help me confront my fears.

First Joe says you want to make sure the tarantula's in a good mood----good mood? How can you tell?!? Joe's answer isn't too comforting.

"If I get bit or she's flicking hairs that's gonna be a good indicator she's not happy." 

Joe also tells me no sudden movements----anything else? "If you're gonna pet it, usuallly you go from behind, do everything from behind."

I think I'm ready to give it a shot. He removes a Rose Hair Tarantula from a container----Joe says these can be quite docile. So here we go....carefully, cautiously...and actually....touching is not too bad. So am I ready to hold it?

So far so good and then it slowly begins to move around on the palm of my hand. But I'm not totally freaking out.

Up next a much bigger one---the Mexican Red Knee Tarantula. This one is huge, but it too is not a fast mover and it is surprisingly soft, not the coarse, fuzzy feeling I was expecting for such a hairy critter. But it is big.... 

So how bout a smaller spider? And be careful what you wish for---Joe pulled out a Pink Toe Tarantula--and it is one creepy crawler! I had to step away from this guy at first then....I gradually ease my way over. This critter--the smallest of the three, freaked me out the most. It was scooting all over Joe's hands and mine.

I tried to compose myself. But after a few minutes I was more than ready to turn this critter back to Joe.
But I did it---handled three tarantulas, however even though Joe says they make great low maintenance pets---yeeeaaaahhhhhh, not yet ready to say I've made that kinda of progress in confronting my fear of spiders.

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

Kurt Williams