12 Mar 17 – 18 Mar 17
This week’s challenge was more of something I wanted to check off of my bucket-list than something I was scared of doing, but it still scared me, nonetheless. Except for me and my younger sister, my family are licensed scuba divers. I hadn’t thought of getting certified myself because I’ve been told that because of my weight, I would only have a hard time trying to scuba dive. With the progress I’ve made in becoming a healthier person, however, I found the courage to go for it anyway, regardless if it’s going to be challenging or not. As I’ve said previously, anything that’s going to stop me from being me is not worth a single mili-second of my time.
While I have yet to go for full certification, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to do an intro dive, which meant that I would only have to go through a ten-minute lecture and a twenty-minute pool session before getting in the open water. Sitting through the lecture, I began feeling nervous. A lot could go wrong underwater: my mask and my regulator1 could get flooded; the regulator could float off, and although it was never mentioned, the thought of the oxygen tank exploding on my back played in my mind in a loop. But here’s what made me calm
the fuck down: we were told that if something went wrong (in the pool, at least), stand. We would be in a shallow pool, after all, and we weren’t going in open water until we were ready.
In the pool, strapped in a life vest with the dreaded oxygen tank attached to the back of it, I took my first breath underwater. Inhaling came naturally, as I did it as I would have on land, except through my mouth, but exhaling was a weird feeling. It felt as if I wasn’t expelling any air at all, and I kept envisioning water filling my lungs, causing me to panic and to breathe faster. I immediately thought that I would never get my license at this rate, but I was quick to remind myself that I haven’t even spent five minutes underwater. Once I got a hang of it, it started to feel relaxing. Haven’t I learned by now that it takes time for me to adjust to the things I initially hate?
Later, I was excited to get into the ocean and explore it in a way that I never have before: completely underwater and free to breathe. My first dive was less about looking at fish in their underwater garden, and more about me enjoying the feeling. It felt like flying,2 like being in a dream, but I could take selfies and upload them to Instagram because it was all real. As soon as I got out of the water, I already couldn’t wait to go on my next dive.
- AKA the mouthpiece
- Don’t tell me I don’t know what flying feels like. For reference: Week 08: Flying