This is the only picture I took and it’s from the parking lot…I didn’t think leaving my camera unattended on the beach was a good idea.

When this summer started, my plan was to drive out to my sister’s in CA, and then drive from here to AZ, making a quick pit stop in So.Cal to visit a friend and go diving at Catalina. Well, plans changed. It didn’t make sense to drive all that way by myself with gas prices being what they are. When that happened, it looked like diving was out.

I’m not sure why this didn’t occur to me earlier, but upon my return to NorCal after the family reunion I realized that I could still go diving, it would just have to be up here.

I just want to share with all of you that, while I might seem to have zero fear at times, it’s totally not true. I am regularly scared of life…I just push through it. What I find amusing is that I wasn’t at all scared of the SCUBA diving, even though it’s been six years since I last donned a BCD. No, the diving itself has never scared me. I don’t worry about the possibility of sharks or other marine life that might kill me. I don’t worry about oxygen poisoning or the bends (aka decompression sickness). Nope, what do I worry about? Looking stupid.

It seriously took me an hour just to call up the dive place in Monterey. I was nervous about the questions I needed to ask. I was nervous about telling them that I hadn’t been diving in six years. I was seriously terrified. What kills me about this is that I know the people are going to be nice. Divers and runners are very similar…they’re a bit intimidating, but they are more than happy to be of service.

Well, I got my dives all set up…relatively painless…and then the fear of the actual experience started to set in. I’ve gained weight since the last time I went diving. What if there wasn’t a wetsuit big enough (yes…I know I need therapy)? What if they laughed when I told them how much weight I was going to need just to sink my buoyant body? What if I can’t remember how to hook everything up? What if I use my air too quickly? What if I can’t get my wetsuit off (yes, I have a serious fear of the wetsuit, but when you’re diving in 50F water…it’s a serious wetsuit)? What if? What if? What if?

Do you feel like I just let you in on a secret? I seriously walk around constantly worried that I look dumb. Every. Day. First time I went into a running store to get shoes? Terrified. That cooking class two weeks ago? I almost didn’t go. Voice lessons? Scared every lesson. School this fall? I can’t even think about it.

Well, I got there this morning and I was fine. They had a big enough wetsuit (I have serious issues). Rather than fumble through hooking everything up myself (and possibly doing it wrong), I just turned to one of the very nice, very helpful employees and said, “Hey, it’s been six years since I’ve done this. Would you mind helping me out?” And, surprise, surprise, it worked…and I didn’t look stupid.

The dive itself was fantastic. It’s the best visibility I’ve ever had there (Monterey isn’t know for it’s great vis). There was more marine life than I remember, too. Minus a little issue with my first descent (which stressed me out big time because, once again, I felt stupid), all was well. And the dive master/tour guide I was with kept commenting on how she couldn’t believe it had been six years since the last time I’d been diving. That was the biggest compliment she could have ever given me. I so needed to hear it.

So…all in all, I’m really glad that I managed to push through my fear, once again. I had a great time! And the bonus, the other two divers with us were from Lyon, France, so I got to help play translator (I love any chance to speak French) and talk about Lyon with this cute little couple.

10 thoughts on “breakwater

  1. I am quite impressed that you did that. I have a huge fear of scuba diving, despite my husband’s insistence that I take lessons. Good job, Chloe.

  2. You took the words right out of my mouth. I walk around wondering when everyone is going to figure out that I have no idea what I’m talking about and that my confience level is practically zilch in every area of life! I worry that I’m going to do something stupid and that EVERYONE will see…..good I work for Southwest, where flight attendants are expected to look stupid. 😉

  3. I’m SOOOOO jealouse!! I want to go diving so badly. I have fears for different reasons though. I remember when I went diving in Puerto Vallarta, the dive master told me that there were TONZ of eels in the bay. I was scarred $#!%less!!! But, once I was down there, and litterally a foot away from an eel and saw that it looked terrified of me too, I was fine!!

  4. Yay for you! Sounds like you had a good time. Your post reminds me of a book me and my sister read several years ago: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. LOVED that book. Me and sis have had multiple fears that kept us from doing things, but reading this book really did help us both to understand that lots of people have fears; you just need to “do it anyway.” Now I just have to be careful not top be a fear junkie ;o)

  5. I am so proud of you. I actually do the same thing sometimes. It’s my goal not to focus on the negs. But, i know it’s hard and easier to do. See what you would have missed had you let your fears win?! XO~

  6. I was so so worried about going ot Lake Powell with Bart’s family a few years ago because I’d never successfully wakeboarded. But then I got up every single time on the first try. And I realized that my year of worrying had been in vain.

  7. Ditto! I too have this irrational fear of looking/sounding dumb. The running store- it took me a couple weeks to finally make the time to go. It is ridiculous.Linc wants to plan a graduation trip where we have the opportunity to go diving and already I am worried about it since it has been so long since I last went. A year and a half away and I am thinking about it!This is a good example to me- hooray to you for doing it and making it look painless!

  8. That was really interesting. I am quite impressed that you did that. I have a huge fear of scuba diving, despite my husband’s insistence that I take lessons. Good job, Chloe.

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