Surprising Fears

Per usual, nothing about scuba diving scared or concerned me until I was looking back and forth between the pool and the scuba kit thinking “You want me to breath underwater with that? Nope. Not gonna happen. Don’t believe you. Can’t be possible.” Didn’t help that with the mask on I couldn’t breath through my nose (and here I thought my playing a wind instrument got me all used to breathing through my mouth).

But, considering I’d already paid and told everyone I knew that I was going to learn to scuba dive, there was not backing out.

So I did it.

Thank goodness I’ve had to coach so many kids through anxious situations with breathing, cause I had two voices in my head. There was the one saying “No way this works no way this works get this stuff off of me let me go to the surface I want out out OUT.” and the other voice saying “Just breathe. In and out. In and out. There you go. Now in, 2, 3, 4, and out, 2, 3,4. Yeah, just like that. Keep breathing. You’ll get through this. It’s your only option. So breathe.”

Throughout the 5 pool sessions I gradually grew more comfortable with the whole breathing underwater thing. But I was having issues with my ears. Everything was fine until I had to take my mask off underwater and put it back on. Suddenly my right ear hurt at about a 7 out of 10. Eventually I equalized it, but then I had to take my mask off again. Just to balance things out, my left ear hurt at a 7 out of 10. Got the pain to go away but it was still uncomfortable. I ended up tracking down rubbing alcohol and white vinegar to wash my ears.

Since my ears were doing funny things at only a couple meters down, I was very concerned about going deeper the next day. But not just for my ears. Considering how nervous I was in a pool, the idea of open water made me anxious.

But again, there was no backing out.

So there I was, breathing through a regulator, slowly descending into open ocean water.

And it was beautiful. No, really. The water was clear, Everything was tinted teal. I went down at a snail’s pace to properly equalize my ears. And when I reached the bottom I just stared at the sand. I loved it. After a bit of skills practice we swam around. The ocean floor was so diverse and stunning. I saw all types of colorful fish, even a couple of small schools swam by!

Once I started thinking about how awesome it was to be down there, all my concerns and anxieties went again. The breathing started to feel natural. I even started figuring out how to control how high/low I am using only my breath.

Basically, the same thing happened that always happens. The opportunities that scare me the most end up being amazing.

And now I’m excited for scuba diving day 3! We’re going to the Simalin Islands, which every says are beautiful.

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