I turned 55 earlier this year and I made a promise to myself that if opportunities came up that put me out of my comfort zone, I would take them. I would live fully and without regrets. I would live life FEARLESSLY! When I’m on my deathbed I wouldn’t say I wish I would have….fill in the blank.
Skip forward to my March trip to Jamaica with my husband. We had the opportunity to take free scuba diving lessons. My first instinct was no. Heck no! You want me to go underwater, breath thru an apparatus, and pray to God I don’t drown!
After hyperventilating at the very thought of it, I asked myself if this scared attitude reflected the promise I made myself about living fearlessly. It did not.
We signed up and spent the morning in a swimming pool learning all the techniques of breathing naturally underwater, getting water out of your mask when you are underwater, learning how to adjust your ears to the water pressure 30-foot below, and most importantly knowing all the hand language used by Sugar, our Master Diver, to communicate underwater and keep us safe.
The whole boat ride out to the dive spot I was extraordinarily quiet because I was in a constant internal conversation of “are you crazy?” To “don’t let your fear control you, Debbie!” Back to “are you crazy?!?! You won’t be able to slow down your breathing, what if you forget the hand signals, what if your ears don’t pop like they are supposed to” and on and on. I’m glad they didn’t take my pulse before jumping in the water. I’m sure it was sky high!!
When we arrived at the dive spot, it felt like everything was in fast motion. Put your mask on, dive in this way, get your head down in the water and follow the rope down to the bottom, pausing along the way to adjust to the water pressure on your ears. I felt a little sick to my stomach and a little dizzy too. But I didn’t have time to back out or think about it before I was in the water.
Down I went. Steadying my breathing was easier than I thought and adjusting to the pressure in my ears was MUCH harder than anticipated. It took me quite a while to get to the bottom before I actually took the time to look around and marvel at the underwater scenery. It was breathtaking with all the colorful fish and coral! I did it and so proud of myself for not letting my fear get the best of me.
I’m thankful for the expert care our Master Diver gave us (and to my husband for holding my hand). I know without a doubt he could see the fear in my eyes before I jumped in the water. Yet he took the time to reassure me and help me get comfortable with being underwater and I am grateful for his patience.
Letting fear control us is something we all struggle with at times. Believe me, friends, I know! Being aware of that fear and overcoming it deserves a huge “at a boy!”. Yes, I am proud of myself.
So the question I have for you is do you challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone to live a fuller, more adventurous life, to live fearlessly, to say YES way more than you say NO when a new adventure comes your way? I challenge you to say a lot more YES’s before you are on your deathbed and all you have are regrets.
Here’s to living life to the fullest!
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