Rule Number One: Always Breathe

On my first day of my scuba lecture, my professor told me the number one rule for scuba diving: always, always breathe. The rule seems simple enough, but we go our entire lives jumping into water plugging our nose. We jump off the diving board and hold our breath as our bodies flip into the cool water. So really its not as easy as it sounds, especially for someone like me.

On Wednesday, I had my second day of scuba class in the pool. I bought a new swim suit that would certainly keep my boobs from falling when jumping into the pool and swimming every stroke in the water. I was a little late, so I was the last person to jump in the pool.

“Ashley- jump in and do your laps with your goggles and snorkel,” Carol, my instructor, said.

Sure. I’ll jump right in and have everyone wait on me. And watch me. I know some boys were probably thinking they were going to get a free show, but not today.

I jumped in and the snorkel went underwater. I choked on the water and came up hardly breathing.

“Ashley, you need to attach your snorkels to your goggles,” Carol said.

Glad she watched me the whole time. Let the games begin.

The student instructor came over and helped me attach my goggles to my snorkel. Then I took off like a kid learning how to swim for the first time. I went underwater a bit and held my breath. If I were in a cartoon, this would be the part where my face turns blue. I couldn’t figure out how everyone was doing this while holding their breath. Oh wait, rule number one. Always breathe.

I came up to the surface grasping for air. Carol probably didn’t realize I needed Snorkeling 101 – everyone knows you could breathe through a snorkel; in fact, the snorkel was developed so you could surface dive and breathe while slightly under water. I can hear you now, “Only Ashley…” Haha and I know it’s true.

But we learned a lot of tricks and skills. For example, we had to swim across three lanes without our goggles. Find our buddy and put our goggles on under water, clear the water out of my mask, put my snorkel on, and come up to clear the snorkel. I have some serious practice to do, but I am excited. I really am going out of my comfort level on so many levels. I am making myself proud and the encouragement from everyone has been so rewarding.

Thank you all for believing in me and pushing me to succeed—even if that means jumping into a pool with complete strangers to learn a skill that will allow me to conquer fears! J

Much love,

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