I left Canada on February 11th, with a big hope in my heart to be a diver.
Somedays it feels like yesterday, today it feels like at least a year ago.
A year of experience.
A year of ocean.
A year of love and trust and dancing with glitter on my cheeks.
I’ve been through the jungle, and took rest in the ocean’s shore,
To the depths of beautiful ocean reefs,
and into the busy streets with pavement so hot it warms your shoes.
I’ve made some new friends.. and used old fears to fuel new courage.
I’m always so amazed, yet unsurprised at how travel accelerates learning.
All of our hidden dreams and insecurities come to the surface.
What might take days to reveal itself in the comforts of home, comes up and out in an instant under water.
While in Cozumel, Mexico I (finally) got over myself and stopped letting my good old fear of the ocean hold me back from being a diver.
Yes I absolutely love the beach, and I’ll splash all day as long as I can still touch the bottom, but there’s just something too big to understand about the ocean.
So kind, inviting and calm, or rough rugged rip your boat or your house or your houseboat apart in the blink of an iguana eye.
I’ve had so many dreams of the underwater world over my years since watching The Little Mermaid but I was so so scared that one of many things would happen.
2) Equipment malfunction = no air and drown
3) Shark attack and then bleed everywhere while I drown
4) Panic and.. drown.
So to summarize, I watched Jaws too young, and let my grandmothers water fears take over the dreams in my heart.
So we found an awesome little dive shop in Cozumel, Mexico. (there’s one on every corner I swear)
The day before I started my certification I was able to snorkel on the same dive boat my sweet Mike was going diving with.
He was SO excited to get diving again. And I thought Yippee. I’ll be able to snorkel above the expert divers and prep myself mentally and physically for my upcoming course, so they can’t see how scared I am.
So. Much. Vomit.
Vomit brings lots of pretty fish!
The combination of having to mouth breathe while battling with ridiculous waves was totally intoxicating, so much seawater in my mouth! I thought snorkelling should be so darn easy, people snorkel with their tiny children, in theory it should be much easier than diving but it is NOT!
I was quite happy to experience first hand the ocean example I have used so many times in my yoga classes.
At the surface, things are choppy. There are so many elements you need to navigate and conquer. As soon as you come below the surface, everything is quiet. Movement is easy, breath is effortless.
4 days later, and only a few more power pukes from the side of the boat and I’m PADI certified!
If I can breathe underwater, and see sharks and not die, and have my gear malfunction not once, not twice but THREE times and have sinus problems and ear problems and get mega seasick and still come up smiling every single time – this is true magic.
Im meant to be a diver.
Diving is yoga.
The more relaxed you are, the better it gets.
Listening to every breath, moving in tune with the earth.
Im meant to awkwardly fall off the boat backwards and swim amongst the coolest and most colourful creatures.
Wonderfully enough I was the only one doing my Open Water Certification on those days so I had my incredibly patient and oh so lovely dive instructor Kristina all to myself.
Watching how peaceful she is in the water was so inspiring.
The girl is practically a fish and even found me my very first little seahorse!
We had many a wonderful dive off the coast of Cozumel. She took her time with me and even held my hands when my ears didn’t want to clear right away – it hurts amigos!
She could tell fear was present for some of my underwater drills, and because we have our regulators in our mouth we can’t smile or say a word so she smiled big with the bluest of blue eyes and I knew everything was ok.
To all of my fellow ocean fearing friends…
Once you are below the surface of the water, of the mind, of the fear, everything is peaceful and clear.
Things went wrong, and I was ok.
I ran out of air twice, and I was ok.
My equipment malfunctioned, and I was ok.
We swam in a school of sharks, and I peed I was so ok.
The only thing to fear is how incredibly long your bucket list instantly becomes when you allow yourself to discover you have a whole new world to explore!