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!

Carry that weight…

“Maximum weight in your backpack should be no more than 40% of your body weight.  And you want to start well below that…”

Advice from a new friend, who agreed to coach basic backpacking, and introduce me to the local trails.   My adventure buddy, Studley McRocklegs, is playing along, as we add another skill-set to our adventure toy chest. 

Prepping my pack, i decided to start with twenty-five pounds.  My tent, sleeping bag, and about a gallon of water in a sealed jug was my starting load. i hopped on the scale to weigh the result. 

Twenty two and a half pounds.  Seemed a helluva lot heavier to me, though, as i hoisted it onto my back.

Then it hit me:  this is exactly how much weight i’ve dropped since the beginning of May.  

Damn. i’ve been carrying around a LOT of excess.  With another twenty-five pounds (minimum) still to be shed, i’m pretty sure i’ll feel a helluva lot better by the time i get there.  

And it’s sure going to make the backpacking easier…