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.