One Thing I Learned From Diving

This is a story of a girl trying to become a certified PADI AOW diver from not knowing what exactly scuba diving was. Actually this might not be a complete story but some ideas that might be interesting.

‘It’s okay to be nervous or even scared.’

I still remember the first day, just before I was about to enter water with my wet suit for the very first time. I was experiencing fatigue and dizziness.

‘You should have read from the disclaimer you just signed, you should not dive if you have seasickness.’ Said one instructor on the boat.

‘Oh no, I didn’t have it before.’

Right, I did not have seasickness all my life and suddenly suffered from it. Apparently I wouldn’t buy that. I knew, it was just me and my nerves.

Fortunately Luke, my instructor, said to me, ‘You’ll be fine.’

I walked towards the ladder in heavy and clumsy devices, telling myself I would be fine once I hit the water.

Oh Yes, I was actually fine. My inflated BCD (buoyancy control device) was floating, my wet suit was floating, even the sea water would help me float. I was floating without even trying and able to swim towards whatever directions.

So why the nerves? I had read more articles than enough to know I would be perfectly safe even if it was my first time. Also it was just swimming at the very beginning, no reason to be nervous at all!

It was not until the second time I got nervous then I realized what was going on earlier.

I was required by the diving course to practice some skills, one of them was to remove my mask underwater. I would take three deep breaths with my mouth first, remove the mask completely, hold my mask where I would not lose it and stay still for maybe 30 seconds then put it back on. That seemed pretty easy, so I was going for it right after Luke’s demo.

Taking my first deep breath, second, third then fourth…….. then a few more.

I felt my heartbeat racing, I knew my nerves got me again. As I felt my heart was beating like hell, I removed my mask, kept taking more deep breaths than necessary. (I don’t know, maybe I needed that.)

My eyes were open, the sea water didn’t hurt me like chlorinated pool water, I could see things, just not clear.

Seeing blurry things did not help me calm down, I chose to close my eyes and try again.

I was still breathing the whole time of not wearing the mask. With or without the mask, nothing actually changed other than the blurry sight.

I then finally figured out, it was inability to see what’s ahead, it was uncertainty and insecurity that got me nervous.

Opening my eyes, I saw this giant white man near me, still blurry, but it was okay. I knew I was looking at uncertainty, something I had yet to discover.

Being nervous didn’t help, but it didn’t hurt either. It’s okay to be nervous, just do what you need to do.

Oh man, this sounds just like life, doesn’t it?

We feel comfortable when we are familiar with what we are experiencing. What if we are familiar with not knowing? What if we are prepared for a blurry sight and a racing heart? Once you realize that a blurry sight is expected, the fear inside you is just perfectly normal, and you also know you can do what is needed done (There, cheers to blind confidence or let’s be honest and call it arrogance.), then you will be fine, just as Luke said.

You’ll be fine, just breathe, then act.

It’s okay to be nervous or even scared.

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