Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Two days ago my sister Victoria got us to sign up for scuba certification.
I had assumed, what with us leaving on our family cruise in three weeks, that we wouldn't have time to get certified before we left. (Yes, I've known about the cruise for months and months. And yes, I did sort of hope it was too late.) But apparently, we have time.
And I knew Casey wanted to try it, and I thought it might be a really cool experience. So, despite the fairly high price tag, we signed up.
Yesterday, when we walked in to the dive shop, they had us all sit around a table and introduce ourselves. Then he told us it was time to get in the pool. What? I thought we had to learn some theory first. Or at least the names and functions of all the parts that will keep me from drowning!
But apparently, that's how it's done. We suited up, stuck that fancy bit of rubber in our teeth, and went under.
I tried to stay calm. I tried to believe I wasn't suffocating. I wondered, if you spend less than a minute under water will they give you a refund? And then I went up for air.
I stood there alone above water with my mask on my forehead (which I learned later is the sign of a distressed diver) until the instructor surfaced to see what was wrong with me. I admitted that I might have claustrophobia. He said I'd have to come back on non-class days for more practice. Right. This when I'm already spending 6 of the remaining 18 evenings away from my kids before I leave them for 9 days. And didn't you just get that I don't want to spend MORE time underwater right now?
Well, after a quick review of procedure, and the instructor prying the buoyancy regulator out of my fingers (oh, I don't have to hold that?) so I could hold his hands and try again, I was fine.
Phew! I didn't just waste a couple hundred dollars.
(I also panicked the first time I tried to snorkel. The water was choppy and I couldn't handle trying to breathe with my face under water at the same time that I was trying to stay afloat. When I put on a life jacket I could just concentrate on breathing, which, really, is the most important thing.)
We did all sorts of exercises for a couple of hours and then we were done for the day. I left feeling really excited. And tired. And hungry! Does scuba burn calories? Because Casey and I both hit our lowest weight in months today.
I woke up in the night to the sound of the wind rushing over our rooftop. It sounded like an ocean dragging on the shore. An ocean of air. I started to feel claustrophobic again. I wondered if I would drop my regulator. Or get carried away by the current. I wondered if dolphins ever get rabies. Eventually I had to turn on my light and read a book. The whole thing. And then listen to another book on the ipod before I finally fell back to sleep.
Posted by edith at 8:34 AM