Sunday, September 26, 2010
I was determined to power through the second day of SCUBA training. Today was "worst-case scenario day". Today is the day where you get to practice for all of the bad things that could happen to you while diving. I survived having my regulator knocked out of mouth and having to have to fish around to retrieve it. I survived having my regulator go into free flow and having to "sip" the air bubbles. I survived having my air shut off and having to use my buddy's regulator.
I (barely) survived snorting water up my nose from my mask. I actually got into some trouble here as I freaked out and shot up to the surface. Which, in 10 feet of water is OK, but is extremely not OK on an actually dive (coming to the surface too fast is how you get "the bends"). I wasn't doing very well with the water in the mask thing. This actually isn't completely uncommon for new divers. It is one of the many things that you need to get over in order to SCUBA.
I made it through day 2, but barely. One of the last things that you need to do is to perform a short no-mask swim. I know some of you are freaking out just picturing this. How are you supposed to dive without a mask!!! You actually only need to mask to see better underwater. Your nose will automatically seal itself while underwater - babies do it instinctually - adults must somehow forget this basic skill.
Since I was still freaked out about the water in my mask thing I was of course freaked out about swimming with no mask on. I ended up having a crying anxiety fit and wanted to give up. Thankfully Mark and the instructor were very patient. Talked me into not quitting, and I did my no-mask swim without any issues.
Location: Maple Grove, MN, USA
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I feel like this is a good representation of how I felt on our first day of SCUBA training - flipped over, out of sorts, out of my element.
Mark and his best friend Andy had a great idea for our upcoming Maui trip - we should all get SCUBA certified! I have to admit that I had never thought about it before. MN isn't exactly a divers paradise - unless you like the idea of ice diving or diving into lakes with pretty much zero visibility. To date I haven't really had any beachy vacations, so I hadn't really even snorkled before...but I do like the water and am a decent swimmer so it sounds interesting.
The bad thing about SCUBA certification is that you have to do a lot of prework before you even get into a pool. And, that this prework is basically the worst-case scenario guide. By the time I get to the pool I know about 75 ways that I could be seriously harmed or even killed by SCUBA diving. This is not a good confidence builder for me.
It probably wasn't good that Andy's wife Andrea wasn't entirely on board either. I think that our anxiety kept being fueled by the others anxiety. Both of us were really having a hard time getting used to this whole breathing under water thing. You have to admit it is a little unnatural and freaky. While we were still having problems in the 3 foot section, our husbands were already at the bottom of the 10 foot section playing around and karate chopping at each other. There was definitely some disparity in our reactions. I made it through the end of day 1 (barely).....Andrea did not.