Part 1 - Scuba Diving in a Volcano
How to Try—A Six Part Blog about Pushing Past Fears to Live a Bigger Life
By Kerri Davidson
(1,000 Ripples Video Link: https://youtu.be/_PIMkiEWCzs) (www.kerridavidson.com)
Part I: Scuba Diving in a Volcano
I learned how to scuba dive because I didn’t want to throw up on a boat.
I was on a five day yoga retreat in Santorini, Greece, staying in a crisp white villa perched on the edge of the caldera, overlooking water an impossibly bright blue. It was idyllic and peaceful…that is, until the final excursion.
The whole group was scheduled to go on a dinner cruise. Great idea, right? Everyone was excited, except for me, after reenacting The Exorcist on a boat tour on a previous yoga retreat, I decided to stay behind. No amount of Dramamine could reverse the power the ocean’s current had on my stomach and I didn’t want to sully that blue water (or my fellow yogis) with my “reimagined” dinner.
I felt a little left out and didn’t want them to return with great stories of their aquatic adventure and my only event to report was even tan lines, so I asked the concierge for ideas. She outlined a few options and, because I get snorkeling and scuba diving confused, I ended up loading into a van of strangers and riding down a cliff to the mouth of a dormant volcano ready to scuba dive.
I love to swim and was even on a swim team growing up, but somehow being underwater for more than a breath seemed like a ridiculously rash thing to do. Still, I wanted an adventure, so I sucked it up (literally) and squeezed into the loaner wetsuit. After our short scuba lesson, I grilled everyone on the beach who had ever gone scuba diving. Each assured me it was a completely survivable activity. I was skeptical, but you know, once you’re in a wetsuit there’s no getting out (seriously, it’s impossible to get out of those things!).
The instructor heaved an air tank on my back and I’m not even kidding I almost fell over backwards from its weight. He told me to lean forward a bit so I pitched myself until I was horizontal with the sand and trudged into the water.
We did some practice drills with the breathing apparatus to prove to ourselves that the instructor was not full of crap—we would, in fact, be delivered air, and we could retrain our minds to believe we could breathe underwater. Then we were off, gliding through clear water with the power of our flippers, losing the immediacy breathing normally gives.
I stuck to the instructor the entire time, it was disorienting underwater and easy to lose your bearings, but after awhile I was able to look around. He wanted us to see everything—he pointed out fish, little silvery schools slipping along beside us. We peeked at coral alive and waving, touched seaweed—there existed this whole underwater world I’d never experienced before. We explored our new landscape, laughing and amazed at what we’d been missing all our lives—what lay beneath the surface.
When we emerged a half hour later I was elated. Not only was I happy to survive the adventure, but I also discovered I was much braver than I ever imagined.
Three Things I Learned:
Me and My Scuba Dive Instructor on the Caldera after our dive
Other Blogs Written by Kerri Davidson
1) Part I: Scuba Diving in a Volcano
2) Part 2: Turn Your World Upside Down
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