In August we visited the incredibly beautiful island of Grenada in the Southern Caribbean. First of all, the locals are super smart, caring, and funny. And they all seem to have the gift of dance. They lay claim to a fast techno-style music called Soca (Grenada Soca to be exact). I don't think you could stop them from dancing if you tried. And there is no point in trying because they make everyone around them want to sing and dance too.
Prior to this trip, I committed myself to learning how to scuba dive by getting certified at the resort. Mind you, I'm somewhat claustrophobic, however I love to snorkel and can swim fairly well, so I figured scuba is the next step. Looking at all the bright colored fish and thousands of creatures beneath the surface is thrilling. Strapping on a tank, gear, and regulator, then dropping down 50 feet into the depths, adds its own 'color' shall we say.
My scuba guide, Curtis, had the patience of a saint and if he was any more relaxed he would have been asleep. But I guess that's one of the benefits of living in the Caribbean (nobody is in a hurry). I got through the pool training (it was only 4 feet of water, but who's keeping tack). The beach dive on the second day I must say went well (after wigging out and crying after the first day's beach dive because I felt like a failure letting fear get in the way - aborting the dive early). I regrouped after realizing I had stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something completely different (not only emotionally and mentally, but physically as well) even if it didn't end the way I'd hoped.
On the second day I actually got down to 30 feet for 30 minutes, with Curtis' kind support (aka holding my hand the whole time). I received accolades from my husband after we broke surface congratulating me on the milestone. I was feeling pretty good about myself thinking "I got this!", until the next day.
The third day was the official boat dive day where we would go a ways off shore and dive down 50 feet for about 30 minutes. Whoa! There were a lot of people on the boat so I had to keep my overwhelming fear to myself while at the same time keeping a smile on my poker face. They were all avid divers with a passion for the deep, who dive pretty often, and made out like its no big deal. I didn't want to look like a sissy.
After some last minute anxious words of panic came spewing out of my mouth just before we submerged (I later apologized to Curtis profusely for my unbridled emotions), Curtis once again held my hand and we descended slowly to 50 feet. I doubt he gets paid enough to endure a tourist's emotional breakdowns and pulling them through to the other side. While down there we checked out a sunken boat that was now a beautiful coral garden bustling with its own eco system of incredibly colored fish and other sea life. Even though I was basked in this beauty, I kept looking at my tank's air gage and thinking about resurfacing to breath 'real air' and feel a breeze on my face.
To wrap up this little tale, I can say I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. There will always be fear and doubt that wants to hold me back from lots of things. I stepped out anyway, and even though I haven't yet become scuba certified, I'm proud of the underwater 'ground I've covered' and blessed by the people I met along the way. I learned that stepping out of the comfort zone isn't just about the end goal, its can be about the journey along the way.