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Don’t Fear New Experiences 

Quite a few years ago the idea of becoming a scuba diver fascinated me.  There was something exotic about the idea of being a foreigner in the aquatic realm.  It was an opportunity to passively participate with creatures that 97% of the planet will never engage in.

While in the Bahamas I decided to explore this possibility.  The hotel I stayed at had a partnership with a scuba company called Dive, Dive, Dive.  Near the pool there was a beautiful display set up with colorful pictures taken underwater showcasing the aquatic life and coral reefs.  Being inquisitive by nature I asked how to participate.  The instructor informed me that I could train in the pool the next morning and dive in the ocean during the afternoon.  Instantly I decided that I had to experience this and reserved a space in the class.

The next day came and I arrived 30 minutes early, eager to start.  The instructor diligently put together the scuba gear which all looked like something out of NASA.  Once she saw me lingering she asked if I was taking the class and advised me that we would start after the other students arrived.

After about 45 minutes all of the students arrived and we were in the pool.  The instructor explained and demonstrated several skills which we were required to repeat.  Once we performed the skills with marginal success we were invited onto the boat located at a neighboring dock.

The boat arrived at a dive sight and several instructors began doing a series of checks on our equipment.  Once we all got the thumbs up from the staff we placed a breathing device in our mouths and rolled off the side of the boat into the water.  The force of gravity brought us underwater just to pop back up on the surface where another staff member was waiting.  We were brought over to a line and instructed to go down while plugging our noses and blowing out.  We complied with their instructions since we had no idea what we were doing and they might have done this a few times.

After descending 40 feet we found ourselves on a sandy bottom surrounded by a grayish blue fish with yellow racing stripes traveling the length of their bodies.  The fish seemed to have almost the same level of inquisitiveness on their faces as I’m sure I had on mine.  If they could speak I’m sure they would be saying, “Hey!  What are you doing down here?  You need air to breathe”

Eventually an instructor comes by and taps me on the shoulder and signals me to follow him.  For another 20 minutes we swim and I get to see the world from another perspective.  As our time underwater draws to an end we ascend back up the line to the boat.  On board I commit to doing another dive, knowing that I am hooked.

The second dive we visit a historic shipwreck from the James Bond movie “Never say never again.”  In the movie a shark chases James Bond through the wreck and he narrowly escapes with his life.  How cool is this.  I get to dive in the same shipwreck as Sean Connery!!!

I’ll spare you the details of the second dive, but know that I’m okay and the shark didn’t get me either.  Now I have something in common with James Bond.  The rest of my vacation I decided to spend as much time as possible underwater.  When I returned home to the States I enrolled in a scuba diver certification program at a local dive shop.  22 years later I can now report that I am a seasoned scuba instructor with well over 2000 dives under my belt.

The point of this story is don’t be afraid of new experiences.  You never know what you might try that turns into a passion or a career.  Stay curious about things that you aren’t familiar with.  Try it once.  Maybe you will enjoy it.  Maybe you will love it.  Maybe it will change your whole perspective.  Take calculated chances and Live Bold!

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