Fear is a Poor Teacher
I dipped my face into the frigid water, able to see somewhat clearly with my mask on. The water was so cold I felt every drop of icy ocean water squirming through my wetsuit. We were a few hundred feet from the shore, bobbing in the water like giant fishing lures. I thought back to my dive training and forced myself to believe what I was told.
You're going to love this, it will change your life forever. You will never be the same, resonated through my head. These were the words my gray-haired, 60-year-old, diving instructor said exactly one week ago.
There was a certain majesty to the ocean that was both luring and intriguing. People explore both above and below, amazed by its mystery. I always found the ocean mysterious but was frightened at the same time by its infinite vastness and unknown creatures. After last year’s climb to Europe's highest peak, Mount Elbrus in Russia, I decided to challenge my fears once again and set out on a scuba diving adventure. My first diving experience will last a lifetime. It will always remind me that I can meet any challenge I set my mind to.
I looked under the surface again and saw the anchor line sink down into oblivion. There was only four feet of white rope, then a void of moss-green that engulfed the world below. "Anything could be down there,” I thought. The adrenaline was pulsating through my veins. The moment I had anticipated was approaching fast.
"Let's get under!” yelled the instructor as I got my nerves together. He gave the signal and we disappeared into the mysterious depths of the Pacific Ocean. I focused on breathing through the respirator, knowing this was a mental game I had prepared for. I tried to stay calm as my chest constricted and my breathing intensified.
The horizon slipped away and the underwater world engulfed me. Submerged into the void below, I equalized my ears to relieve the mounting air pressure. The water was so murky that it was impossible to see where I was and how deep I was sinking. I plummeted into the unknown. The only sound came from my Darth-Vader-like breathing, echoing through my head.
Finally the sandy ocean floor came into sight. My fins touched the bottom and I took my place...