So ever since I got back from my first scuba diving trip (in the Dutch island of Bonaire), I’ve had this really cool feeling of empowerment. You see, since I’ve been back, nothing fazes me anymore. I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to.

Scuba diving has changed me

Now I’ve always been an over-achieving type person who tries really hard to not let fear rule, but hey, I’m a human being! Admittedly things do have a way of ruffling my feathers at times. Well, since this scuba experience, I find myself saying things like, “hey, if I can scuba dive 70 feet below the surface, I can do this… pfft…!

That sentence has become my new mantra.

Case in point. I live in a state where snow falls. I hate driving in snow because I fear getting into an accident. I am that person who calls out sick to work to avoid driving the five miles, yes you read that correctly, to get to the office. Well, it snowed less than a week after I returned from the tropics. I was working, and the snow pelted the ground. By the time I left work, a mess of slush covered the roads. Normally, I’d be freaking out.

But, not this time. I started my engine, put the car in drive and took control, reciting my mantra, “hey, if I can dive 70 feet below the surface, I can drive in a little snow… pfft…!”

It hasn’t snowed again since. So, I haven’t been able to test out if I’m still brave and all with the snow thing, but I’m pretty sure I will be (big smile).

Scuba diving challenges me

I love to challenge myself. I feel alive when I break free of my comfort zone. I think it’s natural to set limits on ourselves and stay within a place that brings us a sense of normalcy. But, for me, when I stay there too long, I become deadened and encased in a shroud of dullness. So, I fight it, and I’m glad I do!

People have asked me why I would ever partake in an activity where the training manuals implicitly states the risk of death or serious injury.

Here’s why: I feel alive when diving.

When diving, every single cell in my being is alive and alert and on cue with everything going on around me. I am present. I am experiencing life. I am living!

When I took my first giant stride off that boat deck into the tropical turquoise waters surrounding the lively reefs of Bonaire, my overarching thought was: I am living life right now.

On that first dive, as I descended into a magical underwater world where reefs have been growing for millenniums, and turtles, flounder, parrot fish and eels color a landscape most human eyes have never had the privilege of seeing, my life as I had always known it changed.

I swam in a state of peace, in awe of the life around me. When I ascended back up to the surface after that first dive and all the others that followed that week, my heart soared. I stared up at that bright blue sky each time, high on adrenaline created out of the pure notion that as long as I am healthy and alive, I can do anything in life!

Have you had a similar ah-ha experience that made you feel alive?