Van Wilder once advised a beautiful, young girl some brilliant words of wisdom.
“Never take life too seriously, you’ll never make it out alive.”
Sometimes people walk in the shadows of their own sunshine, never getting letting the eager sunshine bring itself forward.
I really don’t want to be a person like that. Ever.
As most of you know, scuba diving class has been a crazy journey. Tears. Laughs. Inspirational moments. Heartbreaking moments. I’ve felt it all- in a class that is designed for an adventurous soul. But perception is reality, and I was terrified of this class.
Today I finally realized that laughing and staying positive during a mistake is key to making it out alive. Literally.
Today we had two tasks: buddy breathing rescue and octopus buddy breathing exchange. Sounds easy, right?
For the buddy breathing rescue there are a few steps.
One person is the victim and the other person is the rescuer. The victim swims down to the bottom, deepest part of the pool and lays down on their stomach. They lay there limp and act like they aren’t breathing. Notice I said act- you aren’t really supposed to hold your breath and play dead. Or you’d end up dead. Did you know the average human can only go 4 minutes without air before they die?
So the rescuers need to swim down to the victim.
Role them over.
Take off the victim’s weight belt.
Grab their BC vest or tank.
Put your hand on their mask and regulator so it stays in their mouth while you swim them up with your own strength.
Once you get to the surface, you did to wrap you arm around them in a “do-si-do” wrap and inflate their BC vest so they can float. Once you do that, inflate your vest so you can swim them to shallow water.
Give two rescue breaths and then one breath every five seconds while swimming them to shallow water.
Once in shallow water, you stabilize their head and take off their equipment. You still need to give rescue breaths every five seconds. The skill is over once you have their scuba gear off.
No biggie, right?
Well, I went first. My poor buddy. When I got her to the surface, I forgot to inflate her BC and I didn’t hold her chin up and regulator on her face when I took her up.
But I didn’t realize I made those mistakes. So I tried to swim her to shallow water anyway, but she kept sinking. And she kept swallowing water. God love her, she was drinking more pool water than some college kids were drinking green beer today.
At this moment, I knew something wasn’t right. She looked up and me and whispered, “I think you were supposed to inflate my BC.”
That would have helped her float. A lot.
Oh my. I looked over at the student instructor and asked if I could please re-do it so I could get it right from finish to start.
I did the next try 🙂 And Jena lived on.
She, of course, rocked at saving me on her first try. I’m so glad I have such a sweet and patient buddy. I couldn’t think of anyone else better to be with than her!
So the buddy breathing with the octopus (the extra regulator) was next. During this skill, you had to swim half of the lenfth of the pool, without air, to your buddy who wasn’t facing you. You had to tap them on the shoulder and signal that you were out of air.
Epic Fail for me!
So I went first again. And the first time I couldn’t sink that well, but couldn’t figure out why. Screw it, I thought and just started to swim. But I was moving slowly and it was hard and before I knew it I was back up to the surface.
“I think I need a weight belt to sink,” I said.
Carol told me to go get one and went down to my buddy and informed her why she was starring at the wall for five minutes without me coming asking for air.
So then I put my weight belt on. Still couldn’t float. I came back up from the surface.
“Ashley, deflate your BC!” Carol said.
Well go freaking figure. I had air my vest, which was causing me to float. LOL This definitely explains my rush to the surface. Oh, and the lack of air in my lungs too.
So I got the air out of my BC and swam to my buddy.
Wow, that was intense. I remember looking up to the surface and thinking how close it ooked. I wanted to get air so bad and didn’t think I could make it to her without having a lung collapse. But I gave it all I had and swam to her.
She turned around and I don’t even know I made any sort of signal. Just kind of grabbed the regulator out of her hands and looked like a spaz.
We came to the surface and everyone was laughing. Even Carol.
“Well you don’t ever want to be without air in your tank, now do you Ashley?” she asked while laughing.
“Heck no! I was looking up at the surface thinking about how good it looked, but I knew her air would be good too so I just gave it all I had!”
“You should have seen your face,” Jena said. “I turn around and your eyes were big and you were reaching for the regulator so fast!”
I really wish my life was taped sometimes. I would have paid money to see myself. Not in an ego, cocky way– I just think it would have been REALLY funny.
So I just kept laughing about it. And thinking about how funny I must have looked. Any other day, I would have considered myself a failure.
But I think I am winner.
I never gave up. I did it until it was right. And I made people laugh along the way.
“Hey, at least you can never say you had a boring buddy,” I said to Jena.
She laughed and said, “No, no I could never say that!”
If I was on Saved by The Bell, I would buy her a buddy band! She rocks!
Moral of the story, learn to laugh at yourself. And I promise that not everyone notices when you messed up. Or that your fly was down. Or that you have mustard on your shoe. Or that you farted. Truth be told, everyone else is worried about themselves and the toilet paper on their shoe (and they might not even know about it).