Key A-ha’s from Becoming Certified as an Open Water Scuba Diver (and Slaying a Dragon of Self-Doubt)

First of all a HUGE thank you to Tedward; without you I don’t know that I could have done it. While I recognize that we are each in our own bubble and responsible for ourselves first in the underwater world, we are also connected in this adventure to see each other through safely and share some of the exciting finds. Without your calming support I am not quite sure that mask removal would have been completed – admittedly shore was looking kinda good. Kind of like life in general really isn’t it, only perhaps a little more magnified.

The lessons and A-ha’s from this certification process…..

Have faith in myself! This is the second time this year that I have had opportunity, during a physical challenge, to take a step back, regroup, and tell myself “yes I can”. Admittedly key messages growing up did not surround my having any physical prowess or hand/eye coordination abilities, so when it comes to physical challenges I can be very quick to think I need to give up on myself and move on so as not to hold anyone else back (or some ridiculous excuse like that).

The first one this year was during the Mud Hero when I fell off the spinning disk thing and so just exited the obstacle – only to circle back around and take my time and turn to conquer it (the course wasn’t busy at that point in time, I had been encouraged by a fellow racer, and I was not doing this race competitively so why not).

The second (and admittedly tougher) was the removal of my face mask underwater – both to practice removal, replacement and clearing and then to do a 30 ft swim without a mask. Essential I know in order to be prepared were there an incident below where I had a real problem with my mask, but it took some coughing, some salt water up my nose, a whole lot of practice and visualizing of the manta ray, reminding myself I am still breathing with my regulator that that is where the air comes from (admittedly the first time I got some up my nose as was a little on the rushed side trying to just get it done) some extra time just kneeling on the sandy patch to relax and work up my nerve, the closeness of a trustworthy friend knowing that he would let nothing happen to me, and a whole lot of loving self talk to be able to do that. And I think doing it at the bottom of the sandy path in 9ft of confined water was (almost) tougher than doing it hovering in about 25 ft of open water. But I did it! I learned I can cough, spit, maybe even regurgitate a tiny bit into my regulator and I will be okay. It took calm, methodical, relaxed to get it done.

Even the equipment removal and replacement on the surface was a reminder – be calm, methodical, relaxed, slow and steady, to take my time and I got it.  Once again, the (unwanted) wisdom of a senior coming through my grocery till on $1.49 day many years ago when I was in high school comes to mind “haste makes waste”.

So perhaps these are lessons that need to be incorporated back into my world as a reminder to slow down, enjoy the process (and even when not enjoying it practice some relaxation through it to make it a little less daunting), trust in myself, know that I am watched over by those who love me for any times of true distress.

Wishing you a day where you discover the faith in yourself to slay a little dragon of fear or doubt of your own.

Much love, Glenna

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