TODAY | November 01, 2013
>>> it's time for our be bold contest. we asked you to submit a video telling us about the one thing you've always wanted to check off your bucket list but you have been terrified to do so.
>> this time, we chose gina steel of minnesota to be bold and conquer her fear of the ocean and swim with the sharks .
>> good for her.
>> let's take a look at gina 's submission.
>> the boldest thing i could do was swim with the ocean in sharks . first of all, to get in a bathing suit . i don't do that. shark, in the ocean, water that i can't see the bottom, that's my biggest fear ever.
>> oh, my gosh.
>> a lot of people feel that way.
>> we sent gina , who didn't even own a bathing suit and has never been to a beach, to swim with the fisheses.
>> calm down, we're not that bad. we didn't send her into the deep dark sea . we sent her to the florida aquarium in tampa, florida. take a look.
>> i have had this fear of swimming with sharks since i was probably 10:00 . after seeing "jaws."
>> i think gina 's like most of america, where they see sharks and they're certainly afraid of their menacing appearance and the impression they have based on the media.
>> when i look out at the water, i think what's under there.
>> today, she's going to overcome that fear by swimming right alongside these amazing creatures and see they're not interested in her as a food item.
>> i'm feeling way scared and nervous and i want to have a heart attack and fall over and do the floppy chicken right here and i'm afraid of this.
>> hi, gina , i'm erin. it's a pleasure to meet you. i'm going to be your dive master today. taking you in, diving with the sharks . are you excitede eexcited?
>> i'm going to need you to be blindfolded first. on the count of three, i need you to take your blindfold off. ready, 1, 2, 3. and take a look out.
>> i have to go in there?
>> you get to go in there. aren't you excited?
>> no. yes.
>> yes. it's a real coral reef , just like you see in the wild.
>> i don't see it in the wild though. i don't go in the wild.
>> those are our sand tiger sharks .
>> oh, my god, it's too big.
>> all right. well, we've seen the exhibit from outside. now are you ready to get inside and go for a swim?
>> how are you feeling?
>> i'm going to throw up.
>> well, that's okay. more fish food . where you are, just kind of crouch down and bend over and just put your face in the water.
>> oh, my god.
>> what did you see?
>> there's stuff over there.
>> they're right there, huh?
>> oh, yeah.
>> there's one right there.
>> there's a shark?
>> yes, here it comes.
>> those fish are very close.
>> they're so close. there was one in the water, just like in "jaws." it was so scary at first and i was screaming and everything. i would probably go in the ocean now. not too deep. but i wouldn't be as scared. i conquered my fear. i swam with sharks . i know. oh, my god, right?
>> wow, that's amazing.
>> good for her.
>> we've got gina steel, nerves of steel. from her home in laverne, minnesota. hi, gina .
>> you've had a chance to think and reflect on your experience. tell us a little bit about what it was like.
>> oh, my gosh, it was amazing. i'm still trying to process. i still can't believe i did it. tuesday, i was watching hoda and you had said your fear was to drive into the water.
>> yes, drown in the water.
>> and that is mine too. before i did this, i would have sat in the car and drowned.
>> oh, that's so great. and what did your six kids think of this, their mom overcoming her fear this way?
>> well, they're glad, because now i'm actually go to the lake with them instead of --
>> that's awesome.
>> we're so happy for you. thanks for joining us.
>> thanks for entering the contest. god bless you.
>> thank you very much, ladies.
>> all right.