In your own skin…

During a moment of exhaustion reflection on the dive boat last week, i realized that i was the second youngest person in our group.  Only the 40-year-old woman – married to the oldest man, aged 70 – was younger.

One of the most accomplished divers is 68 years old – she’s logged over 650 dives, and takes the most remarkable photographs!  She loves sharing her ‘finds’ underwater, and is a lovely coach and mentor.

SCUBA is a hobby that can last a lifetime.

Even more important, however, is the fact that we were all quite comfortable together in the barest of bare essentials on that dive boat.  Men AND women.  Not one hard-bodied supermodel in the bunch, yet not an ounce of apparent self-consciousness.

No whining about saddlebags, poochy guts, baggy boobs.  “Doing the Dance” to wriggle into our wetsuits and dive skins when the dive master called “Five Minutes!”, there wasn’t enough room on the boat for privacy.  It was a floating co-ed locker room.

There are many reasons i have gotten sucked into this activity.  But being around adventurous older women, who couldn’t give a fractional shit about being thin enough, trapping a man, or what they look like* in a bikini?  Sheer delight!

Here’s to shedding meaningless societal constraints, and living your own life!

* The technicolor diveskins serve two purposes.  In warmer water, a thicker wetsuit isn’t necessary for warmth, but having a 1mm “skin” to protect from reef rash, stinging ‘fire coral’, and other scrapes and scratches is nice.  The colors?  When you’re in gear, and underwater?  Everyone looks alike.  A distinctive ‘skin’ can help your buddy keep track of you…  Plus they’re just big damn fun!

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36 thoughts on “In your own skin…

  1. Excellent! No superficial people in the crowd – that’s got to be one of the nearest things to nirvana. Enjoyed all the pics, and I did wonder about the technicolor wet suits, so thanks for the explanation.

    • Not to say we were all deep-thinking, unconstrained free-agents! Oh, there was some drama here and there…over some pretty superficial crap. It’s more that no one let appearance get in the way of play! i need to probably explain this better… there may be another post lurking…

  2. You all look like part of a reef! Lovely.
    Yeah, as I get older(and lumpier) I find it much easier to select the genuine from the high-maintenance poseurs.
    Of course, these are the people one meets in such pursuits as rapids-running,sky-diving,rock-climbing, etc. In such groups, staying safe (and alive!) matters a hell of lot more than whether the lipstick matches the socks.:-)

    • We weren’t all diving on the same boat, so we had to make a point to all wear our pretty skins on the dock before the first departure of the morning. “high-maintenance poseurs”. yep. that’s it. there is a clock ticking over my head, and i will not waste precious minutes feeding their endless needs…

      did one certification dive with a couple of young bucks in the group a few years ago. i was pretty certain that if they continued diving, they’d eventually kill themselves, olr someone else, because they were reckless… survival of the fittest?

    • You will have your day, Ms. Babs! There will come a time when those young ‘uns are raised, and you will have more opportunity for play. Now wait a minute… aren’t you married to a “Cabana Boy”? 😉

    • i couldn’t really start diving until my children had left for university! maybe this is part of your future adventures! and i’m sure you’d find a way to make your own fashion statement with your dive gear!

    • there was a lot of happy on those boats! even when it was raining, and we were being eaten by bugs, and ran into travel disruptions? not a lot of crabbing from the group! amazing!

    • One of my inspirations to dive was a friend who had just returned from a dive trip to the Galapagos with her mother – who was 68 at the time! this is when i weighed 240 pounds, and couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath. i decided that this is a sport of ‘brain’ over ‘brawn’. More finesse than force.

    • oh, dear. where did i put that cheese grater? i need to take it to the visual center of my brain and see what i can do about removing that image…

      COULD YOU HAVE AT LEAST TAKEN OFF YOUR DAGGONE SOCKS?!?!?

    • generally, i don’t buy clothes often. in fact, there are photos of me from almost 10 years ago wearing the same suit that is my ‘go to’ suit for serious business meetings. but i could get into this. this isn’t ‘buying clothes’. this is ‘buying gear’ (grunt, scratch, spit) and that’s DIFFERENT!

    • we didn’t exactly avoid sharks… saw a snoozin’ 6′ nurse shark! the fish couldn’t really care much about us being there… so long as we weren’t eating their food.

    • it helps to have a few ‘non-fractional shit giving’ folks around you! granted, i still do make an effort to make myself presentable. i just won’t let the lack of a perfect body, or face, get in the way of doing the things i want to do!

  3. I found this same sort of camaraderie and self unawareness in crew. There’s a group of 80+ yrs old Gents who’s boat is called, “The Ancient Mariners”. Crew is also a sport that can be done until the diminishing days.
    I’ve yet to trying diving, but I think I’ll have to give it a try, you inspire me.

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