Alive – Reverb 10 prompt 3
December 5, 2010
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
In the pool – both here in Wisconsin when I took the classroom/confined pool portion of the Open Water diver course and at my check-out pool work in Mexico, the more I worried, the tighter my chest contracted. The faster I swam. Too fast. In a real life diving situation swimming to the surface this fast I’d risk bursting my lungs as I rose to the surface -the air in my lungs expanding due to less pressure. But mentally I couldn’t get past the thought I’d run out of air. 30 year old flash backs to high school, getting certified as a life guard and struggling with the requirement to swim a pool length underwater.
Of course, in a pool you are swimming horizontally. You don’t have the advantage of the air in your lungs expanding as you swim to the surface. Both instructors – the WI one and the Mexican one, repeatedly assured me that I would not run out of air. The analytical side of me understood this. Understood the science. Knew I’d been well trained by great instructors. Yet, I was terrified of failing.
Breaking the surface after a remarkably easy CESA. Having the divemaster at the top say, “Congratulations you’re a Diver”. A true moment of being alive.
The second came minutes later. Having passed the final tests, we went back down for another dive.
Diving is interesting from a senses perspective. Sound is different than on the surface. Quiet, just the sounds of my breath. A feeling of weightlessness. Colors are muted – the deeper you go, bits of the color spectrum are lost. But yet, a constant beauty A world unlike the surface. Beauty combined with danger.
Swimming along behind the divemaster, he suddenly swam down through a vertical tunnel in the coral, taking us to a small underwater cave or swim through. This was significant. Until you are a certified diver, the guide or divemaster cannot take you through any swim throughs- you must always have just water above you. Here I was being led into a swim through. And at that moment it hit me. I’d done it. After so many, many years of wishing I could scuba dive, of being afraid, of not being physically fit enough, I had become a diver. Alive only begins to describe the feeling.