Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's better down where it's wetter

So, I started scuba lessons last night.

Didn't see that coming, huh? Well, I did, although it was 23 years in the making. See, I've always thought scuba a fascinating thing, the next best thing to traveling in outer space and exploring alien worlds. Must be a result of all those Jacques Cousteau documentaries I watched growing up. Once I got to college, my sophomore year I discovered scuba certification was offered as a for-credit PE course at Texas A&M, so naturally I signed up. I was very excited at the time. At least until my father found out about it. I'm still not sure what his deal is, beyond shitting all over any fun thing his children ever try to do, but in true asshole fashion he threw a major fit and ordered me to drop the class. I did. And regretted it ever since. To rub salt in the wound, my brother took the same course about five years later and dad thought it simply wonderful. Then my other brother got scuba certified. They went on countless dives over the past decade and I've just kind of grumbled at the injustice of it all. Then The Wife surprised me (not really) with scuba lessons for my birthday. Which made me very happy. So here we are.

I can't say the whole experience isn't intimidating. A little scary, even. But I've found that as long as I don't over-think things, I'm good to go.

I'm taking them with the Dive Shop in San Marcos. Because of my ever-changing schedule, they're private lessons, which should allow me to push through to certification a bit faster than normal. I hit the pool for the first time for my swim test. It's kind of humbling when, at the end of the first lap, I realize my two daughters on swim team could complete the test without breaking a sweat while I'm starting to breathe hard and still have a lap to go. I've never been a terribly fast swimmer, and powerful isn't an apt adjective either, but I've got enough belly to be naturally buoyant so I can generally hold my own as long as it's not a race. That buoyancy worked against me on the underwater swim part of the test (I only managed to go 30 feet) as I broke the surface well before I needed to take a breath. By comparison, treading water for 10 minutes was a breeze. After that, I worked on kicks and dives. I didn't do awful, but I'm not a poster boy for great form, either. And breathing through a snorkel is taking quite a bit of getting used to.

Still, progress is progress. Tonight I strap on a regulator and air tanks for the first time. We'll see what kind of havoc I can wreak with that.

Now Playing: The Kinks Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)
Chicken Ranch Central

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