Only One

Being “the only one” in your class, on your team, on the plane, or in your profession is either really good or really bad.

For example, being the only one in your class to get an “A” is a great honor. On the other hand, being the only one in your class to forget about the same assignment due today is really bad.
Being the only one on your team to hit a home run is an accomplishment, but being the only one on your team to strike out really sucks.
Being the only person the plane who survives makes you feel like you just landed on the cast of “Final Destination” or really lucky. Being the only person who dies on the plane crash, well thats not good.
Being the only person in your profession to win a particular award rocks your socks off and makes your parents/loved ones proud. But being the only person in your profession lack a certain skill makes you stand out as slower, weaker. Not a good situation.
So here we are. Why am I rambling about being “the only one” if I am not the only one of something!? Insert SCUBA diving class here:
Last Wednesday, we had to go a skills test where we saw 25 feet across the pool to our buddy who was holding our mask and snorkel. Once we got to our buddy we had to put our mask on, clear the mask, put the snorkel in our mouth, clear the snorkel, and come up to the surface while doing everything in one breathe. No big real, right? Well, maybe if you are Michael Phelps.
Apparently I am in a class full of Michael Phelps, which is something I knew coming into this class. A lot of the other students are aquatics majors. Or on the dive swim. Or they swim from the time they were a sperm to last night, aka their entire life.
I fit in none of those categories. I am in the category. I was the kid who couldn’t jump off the diving board until I was nine because I thought I was never going to make it back up to the surface. I am the kid who kept a 20 minute hold up off the high dive at Pine Lake aka I had a standing ovation when I finally jumped and came up from the water. I am now the young woman who will only get in the ocean if I am completely wasted because I am afraid JAWS will come out of no where and bit my legs off, leaving me for death or in a wheel chair forever. Or a jelly fish will bite me, either way, either way is not fine.
So my buddy took like four attempts to pass the test. By the time I could go the test, I was the only one left. The only one. So everyone could watch me.
So I took my three long, deep breathes and swam to the student assistant as fast as I could (my buddy was already putting on gear for the next part of class). I swam so fast and got frantic, which hello my full name should be Ashley Frantic Bedwell. I didn’t complete the task all the way because I came up choking on water.
“Ashley, you need to clam down. Your body gets so stressed when you swim that fast. You were rushed and out of control the entire time. Do you want to attempt again or wait?” my professor asked me.
“Well, I mean,” I started. I really wanted to say no, but I agreed to try it again.
So I swam down there. Told myself to slow down and attempted again. I didn’t get it.
“Well, you almost had it, but we have to move on. Just practice more and focus on remaining calm under the water,” my professor said with a disappointed look on her face.
“Did you get everyone’s names written down,” she yelled to another student assistant.
“Yeah!,” he screamed back across the pool. “All but one!”
I was the only one who didn’t pass and everyone knew it. I saw the faces turn to me and I wanted to duck my head under the water.
My first scuba fail (although not as bad as my recent church fail).
To make matters worse, I put my swim suit in the rapid dryer and it started to shred the ass out of it and rip it up.
Really? After all this, I thought. Now I have to walk around with my ass-less swim suit because you know I’m not about to spend $40 on another one piece swim suit that I’ll never wear again. Sigh.
Conclusion: I am one of a kind. People will always remember me. Being the only one maybe isn’t the always bad, even if you are being known for being “bad” or “weak” at something — at least you are known. I suppose thats better than being in the middle and never standing out. I just don’t want to be the only one in SCUBA who gets the bends or crazy air bubbles in my body. No matter how many people know that story, it won’t be good.
Oh, and I’d also like to stay away from being the title, “The Only Ball State University Graduate Bride Who Gets Attacked By A Shark and Jelly Fish On Her Honeymoon!”

2 thoughts on “Only One

  1. Tiffany Holbert says:

    Remember that you're awesome and I admire you for doing something so far outside of your comfort zone! (btw, I've never jumped off of a diving board!) 🙂 You're an inspiration, dear!

  2. Ashley says:

    Thanks Tiff 🙂 You always know how to uplift me and you too inspire me!!! I'm glad our paths in life have crossed! I think you are a remarkable lady with a huge heart and open mind!

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