My husband lives by these words . . . “Do something that scares you every day.” Sing in public, enter a bicycle race, or wrestle with a cougar ~ that sort of thing. (No snide comments about me being a cougar.)
I totally disagree with his philosophy. My words to live by are more along the lines of, “Why do something that scares you every day when you could be drinking a perfectly good glass of wine.”
Well, yesterday, I did something completely outside of my comfort zone.
I went scuba diving.
I am a firm believer in not scuba diving. Why? I hold these truths to be self-evident.
- If God wanted us to breath under water, he wouldn’t have evolved our lungs into gills. (Are you allowed to mix creationism and evolution in the same sentence?)
- (Cue the music from Jaws.) A blockbuster movie star lives in the ocean and he was capable of eating Robert Shaw and turning Mr. Shaw’s fishing boat into splinters. Mr. Great W. Shark then used one of the splinters as a toothpick.
- A bevy of creepy things live in the ocean and their sole purpose on this planet is to sting, bite, or generally smother humans.
- Why swim with the fishes when you could be reading a book?
I could go on, but you get the gist.
So why, you ask, did I go scuba diving? I asked myself the same question.
My husband and I are soon taking a much-needed break from the dreary 70 degree weather we have been having in California and are going to a resort on an atoll off the coast of Belize.
My idea of a fun time in Belize is lollygagging in a hammock on the bungalow’s veranda with a cold beverage in one hand and a good book in the other. My husband’s idea of fun is being eaten alive by a creature of the deep. It is a wonder we ever thought we were compatible enough for marriage.
My husband said, “We are going to a scuba diving mecca, so don’t you think we should scuba dive?” My first response was, “Hell, no.” That was the same response the second through one-millionth time he asked. But like Chinese water torture, he wore me down and we took an introduction to scuba class yesterday. (Side note here. He is a certified diver but went to the class with me for moral support and in case I needed CPR.)
The only reason I relented, in addition to the whole water torture thing, was I knew there isn’t enough time for me to get certified before we leave for our trip.
About half of the 3-hour class was taken up with strapping 500 pounds of scuba equipment on our backs. Call me crazy, but it seems counterintuitive to weigh yourself down before going into the deep end.
The indoor pool was 92 degrees and the consistency of used bath water. Smart girl that I am, before I dipped one toe into the pool, I checked for sharks in case the teacher wanted to give us a true feel for the scuba experience.
We started in the shallow end of the pool, which is an excellent place to not drown. We practiced various maneuvers designed to keep you alive underwater. I was all ears for that.
Once we mastered breathing underwater through the regulator (the mouthpiece thingy where you get your oxygen, that life-extending essential), filling our masks with water and clearing it out, and removing and replacing our regulators, the class set out to the deep end. I set out to the medium end and hung near the ladder.
When the panic subsided, I discovered one very important thing. The bottom of a swimming pool is pretty boring. I think that is an evil trick of the dive school. They want you to sign up for more classes so you can learn to dive where the landscape is covered with creepy things that want to sting, bite, and generally smother you.
I’ll be waving to my husband from the veranda, once I set down my cold beverage, that is.