Thursday, March 6, 2014

Scuba Terrified

Andrew described it as exciting yet completely calming at the same time.  

I was stoked.  A little apprehensive but mostly stoked as I geared up for my first scuba class.

The first hour was bookwork.  Along with a lengthy discussion from which I retained only one phrase.
"Don't ascend too fast or you'll get the bends."
Or in other words…. If you go up too fast then BOOM your lungs will explode into smithereens. 
It was all I could think about as we walked out to the pool.

I killed it when it came to putting my gear together.  An oxygen-tank-regulator-hook-uper-BCD-inflator-professional if I do say so myself.  But when it came to getting in water I was pretty much a big FAT disaster.

My first breaths underwater were anything BUT calming.  They were odd and out of place.  For the first few minutes I continually kept thinking, "When the HECK do we surface for air?" And as the minutes ticked on, I became more and more anxious as I became more and more aware of the fact that my body really shouldn't be able to do something that only fish and mermaids can do.  This stress was only amplified by my constant concern for my ridiculously stubborn right ear that wouldn't seem to ever fully pop.  And those bends….  I just couldn't get the awful image out of my head of my lungs contorting and rupturing in my chest.  A completely irrational stress seeing as we were diving in a twelve foot pool.  

The final straw was when we did an exercise where we unhooked our air source to simulate what it would feel like if we lost air.  No thank you.  That exercise left me short of breath, pale, and with tingling numb hands that I couldn't control.  AKA: hyperventilation.  Yes, you heard me right I hyperventilated.

E M B A R R A S S I N G 

I went home dizzy, light headed, drained, and completely defeated.  Who hyperventilates swimming in a pool?  Seriously??  As I waited for Andrew to come over so I could tell him all about my EPIC failure I tried to convince myself that clearly my body just wasn't made for this sport.  To frail, to weak…. and then I got mad.  Real mad.  Partially because I had just paid good money to go and hyperventilate and partially because I realized I was already trying really hard to convince myself that it was okay to give up. 

When I started college I somewhat redesigned myself.  Or perhaps I just figured out who I really was all along.  I just quit trying to please so many people.  But I also decided to make a new life goal. TRY NEW THINGS.  To try lots of new things continually.  To get outside of my comfort zone.  To never regret not trying something. 

To rock climb, water ski, and sky dive.  And if I can jump out of a plane then I for sure as heck can sit underwater for twenty minutes.  So I decided as I laid on the couch pale as a ghost I would conquer this dumb fear I had developed.  

I will not lie I totally dreaded our next class.  And I had to tell myself to breathe normal the whole entire hour of bookwork.  But when it came time to get into the pool I killed it.  My body got used to it.  I took plenty of super deep breaths.  And I pretended to be a mermaid.  But seriously I did.  

Two more classes.
Two open water dives in a dark rather crowded crater.
A bloody nose.
A reverse ear block that left me partially deaf for a couple days.
And BOOM I am proud to say I am a certified lady.

c e r t i f i e d  
 no longer  
t e r r i f i e d

Over my ridiculous fear of scuba diving
and ready for our next adventure that hopefully involves swimming with real fishies.  

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