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.
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.