In 9th grade, i won the “Klutz of the Year” award at the High School Band Awards dinner. i tripped over a music stand on my way to receive the trophy.
i have never been graceful.
In 2006 i got my SCUBA certification. The same year i got divorced, became an empty-nester, and got cancer. It wasn’t until 2009, when Studley became a certified diver, that i had a chance to put more than my toe in the water.
And it was life-changing… We had quite an adventure in Cozumel! Weighing myself down with far too much lead, unable to find neutral buoyancy, and being terrified during a night dive with a five mile per hour current did not dampen my enthusiasm for diving.
anted needed more. i’ve gotten it.
Not a cheap hobby by any stretch, so dive trips to sunny, warm-water locales with pretty colored fish have been a bit of a luxury. Even so, we’ve managed some extraordinary excursions over the past five years.
The most recent adventure last week to The Cayman Islands is now tucked under my weight belt. On this trip? i hit the milestone “100th Dive”. Celebrated with the dive boat crew, and my fellow divers. It was a good thing that i was still dripping with sea water, or they might have noticed that i was crying…
How did i get here?
It wasn’t just the milestone dive that triggered tears. That was just a number. It was more than that…
No longer struggling to manage my air, i was returning to the boat with almost a third of my tank untouched after an hour underwater. Buoyancy isn’t such an issue. i can get in a very Zen-like trance floating alongside a coral wall at 100’… a wall that has no bottom for another 6,000 feet. The gear doesn’t confuse me – i can easily rig my own stuff, and get in and out of the water without assistance — even perfecting the James Bond Backroll from the side of the boat!
It’s not really all of that.
Moving effortlessly underwater with a school of fish. Face to face with a friendly grouper. While most divers use a standard kick, or frog kick, to move along, i’ve adopted the double fin kick…
In the water, i move like a motherfucking mermaid. For the first time in my life? i am graceful. It feels good.
That’s me, doing the inverted photo-bomb as Studley and i explore a wrecked Russian frigate. For once in my life, i am not clumsy.
It feels wonderful…