Scuba Retirement

scuba retirement

Scuba Retirement

My last post was about my first experience with scuba, which wasn’t the most positive of experiences. But, I vowed to give it one more fair shot, and I did last Thursday. Unfortunately, I’m pretty positive that my career in the sport is entirely over.

I tried really hard to give it a fair shot. On the way over to the pool, one of the instructors was telling about diving in wrecks and filling his apartment with objects he’s collected under the sea. It reminded me of The Little Mermaid and Ariel’s room full of items collected from the human world. Because this was one of my favorite Disney movies growing up, I got really excited. Maybe if I could pretend to be an undersea explorer, this would go a lot better than last time.

With a positive attitude, I changed into my wetsuit and got my required materials ready for the dive. This time there was no walk through, just do what you learned. I put together my oxygen tank and BC with ease and was feeling ready to take on the water.

This time, we would be entering as we would if we were out at sea – the giant stride. Aside from being uncomfortable walking around with all of my gear, I felt ready to enter the water, and once I was in, I felt even better. I thought everything else would continue to go smoothly.

But, we were on the deep end, so when we were asked to sit on the bottom, it was a lot further down. I gave it a solid attempt, but my mask filled with water causing me to panic, and I still felt I couldn’t get my breathing right. Again, I rose to the surface completely unsure of myself. The instructor who helped me last time wasn’t there, but another instructor came to my rescue.

We talked through a couple of things, and then both instructors made me go back down to the bottom. I knew I would not be able to sit this one out. So, I talked myself through it, knowing that I was safe and no one would let anything bad happen to me. I went through each task on our list, refreshing skills from last time, then trying new ones. We took off our BCs and put them back on. Then did the same with our weight belts. We learned how to ascend and how to breathe during an emergency controlled ascent. Then we got with our buddies and practiced what we would do if one of us was out of air or lost our mask.

With each task, I was fine. I would focus on each task we were told to do, and when my mind was distracted, I was comfortable under water. But, I still struggled with my breathing. The more I struggled, the more I began to panic. I just did not feel comfortable scuba diving.

As the time in the class slipped by, I grew excited as the end came near. I knew that there was a possibility that scuba was just not for me. As far as I was concerned, I was ending my career with it and entering scuba retirement.

While my bucket list goal was to get scuba certified, I realize that maybe just giving it six solid hours in the pool is good enough for me. I’ll check it off as something tried, and move on. I am not entirely sure that my decision to end scuba is permanent, however, it was something that I found myself not fully in love with.

scuba retirement

 

We’ll see what the future holds for me and my exploration under the sea, but for now, I think I’ll stick to wandering on land.

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Comments (28)

  1. Melissa - The Mellyboo Project

    Awww! I hope that this isn’t completely forever – at least give it a go if you have the chance to scuba dive on a real reef out in the ocean.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Yea, I’m going to see how I feel in a few months, and if I get a chance to try it out in the open waters, I may just have to give it another go. 🙂

  2. Kevin

    Too bad! You look totally HOT in that scuba outfit. Maybe you could be a scuba diver for Halloween? Anyway, I admire you for giving it a fair shot. That’s all life asks of us sometimes.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Haha, well thank you! At least something in scuba works for me. Those things are expensive too, so I’ll have to find another sport that involves one. 🙂

  3. Pola (@jettingaround)

    I like the check mark “something tried” – that will work! You still experienced something new and went out of your comfort zone (literally). Great photo in the wet suit! 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Pola! Really out of my comfort zone! Weird because usually after a little while I get used to something new and love it, not so much with the scuba though. Had to get one picture, figured it could be my one and only wetsuit shot! 🙂

  4. Amanda

    Proud of you nonetheless, girlfriend!!!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Aww, thanks lovely!! Ohh, love that I can read your new post right from here! 🙂

  5. Karen

    I understand how you feel about the breathing. It’s weird! I tried to snorkel once, and I completely panicked because I felt like I couldn’t breathe (and was also scared a shark was going to come out of no where and eat me). That was it for snorkeling for me.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Haha, I don’t blame you, Karen! I’m actually a bit terrified of the ocean, so I don’t know why I thought scuba would be for me! I may stick to snorkeling now, something I used to also be afraid of!

  6. Raul (@ilivetotravel)

    And you can ALWAYS wear that to a wedding!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Hahaha, yes, Raul, yes I can! 🙂

  7. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    Still proud that you didn’t give up. 🙂

  8. Tawny- Captain and Clark

    Hey, we totally commend you for giving it a try and persevering even when you thought you couldn’t. It can definitely be a scary experience, but one that’s worth trying. We look forward to seeing what you take up next 🙂

  9. D.J. - The World of Deej

    Pretty sure I retired from Scuba without even trying. I’m sort of claustrophobic, and it’s hard to block out the thought of being surrounded by water. I’ll stick to the surface with a snorkel:)

    1. The World Wanderer

      I don’t think I realized how claustrophobic I was until I attempted scuba. We can stick to the surface together. 🙂

  10. Francesca

    Good on ya for trying! I’ve been scuba diving – once – and while I loved it, the breathing-under-water concept is a bit unnerving. I can see how it would drive people into a panic. I’d like to think I’ll give scuba another shot, but maybe I’ll just stick to wandering on land with you 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      Yes, it’s very difficult to get used to because it just seems so wrong.

  11. the lazy travelers

    ever since we learned about the entire concept of “the bends,” we’ve been pretty scared of scuba diving. we can totally see where you’re coming from without ever having tried!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Yes, and you learn about EVERYTHING else that can go wrong during the online classes. Of course, that’s what I was thinking about while I was underwater.

  12. Francesca

    And reading this totally made me chuckle because it reminded me of Hank Azaria’s character in Along Came Polly. “Are you for scubaaaaa?”

    1. The World Wanderer

      Hahaha, yes! Jeff and I kept thinking about him the whole time too.

  13. John

    Breathing underwater is so incredibly unnatural – it’s easy to see how it’s not for everyone. It can really mess with your brain! That being said, I’m happy to see you still had a pretty positive attitude about the experience and were able to give it a second try. There is more than enough to explore on land to keep you occupied for several lifetimes!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, John! I agree, there really is enough to see for several lifetimes. 🙂

  14. Leah Travels

    You came. You saw. You conquered. You quit.

    OH well…SCUBA isn’t for everyone. 🙂

  15. Sarah Somewhere

    I can TOTALLY relate to this. I did an ‘intro’ dive years ago in Egypt and loved it, but it was very much under the control of the instructor who was holding me the whole time. Earlier this year, I decided to get certified, and did another intro dive, mostly to see if my boyfriend could equalize, and I did not enjoy it at all. I went into it without fear, feeling positive as you did, but I could not control the anxiety that took me over. I did the two dives, but was so thankful when it was over! At first I felt like a failure, but the truth was, I didn’t enjoy it and it is not something I want to pursue. I know so many people absolutely love it and are always wanting everyone else to also love it too, but it’s just not for some of us. I definitely prefer snorkeling. Good on you for giving it a shot!!!!

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