When I first started blogging, I posted several of my scuba adventures. I won’t rehash all that… just share a couple lessons learned that have absolutely nothing to do with scuba.
I was almost 54 at the time, but never really thought about age. I just felt like plain old me… the same me I was at 18, 20, 30, or 40. As soon as I stepped into the dive shop’s classroom however, I saw people who really were 18, 20, 30 and 40.
For the first time ever… I felt old. I was intimidated. Thought this might not be for me. But I couldn’t quit. I didn’t want to wimp out in front of my long certified, dive instructor husband who accompanied me. I asked him to come to the first lesson because I was scared… he stayed to make sure I learned “correctly”.
One thing learned quickly… after you flub up a couple of times, you don’t care in the least what people think of you. Plus, it frees everyone else to do stupid stuff too. It’s kind of like being a hero of sorts… the one who broke the ice… as I did in one of my first pool sessions…
…we sat on the bottom, using our regulators to practice breathing thru our mouths. I did it several times. Successfully. I don’t know if I got a little over-confident or was daydreaming of my recliner at home, but on our last “sit down” I forgot to put the regulator in my mouth. I didn’t even catch on, in spite of the fact I could see the silly thing floating right next to me… until I had to breathe… and several were looking at me all weird like… and the instructor was swimming toward me. Quickly.
OK… everyone had a good laugh when we surfaced. I survived and like I said, I’d broken the ice. So I wasn’t at all embarrassed to stick my head out and ask my husband to join me in the dressing room where I was stuck in my wet suit. Those things are diabolical… but it was the only time I needed a personal dresser.
I felt a little nerdy when they had to special order a prescription lens dive mask so I could read my depth meter, but considering the alternative of near blindness, it was a good call. These things happen as you age, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Another lesson… when you put yourself out there with people who are putting themselves out there, you realize we’re all human. I don’t care how young, good-looking or smart… they each had a “moment”.
Like our final dive weekend in the cold, murky depths of Puget Sound. We gathered on the bottom, 30 feet below the surface, wide-eyed, when suddenly a slithery little creature skimmed across the mask of one of the know-it-all students [there’s always one of those]. He screamed like a little girl.
Well… I imagined he screamed like a little girl, based on the volume of bubbles that enveloped us as he kicked and thrashed his way to the surface.
So bottom line, I’m glad I stuck it out. And I’m glad I’m writing this down because it’s helping me remember I can do more than I think I can…
…even at 30 feet below… in the dark… more tomorrow…
And don’t forget the rest of the 31 Dayers at The Nester!