PADI: Facing a Lifelong Fear of Diving

This week I faced a lifelong fear and went scuba diving with PADI in Bermuda while at the Family Travel Association summit.

It was more challenging than running with the bulls (yes, seriously, I’m fleet of foot and I grew up around cattle – that test was built for me).

I was basically the last one in the boat during the shallow training on the basics. I couldn’t mouth-breathe without thinking about every inhale, so I was underoxygenated and panicked a lot. The instructor was effortlessly reassuring. After several misfires, he let me know I could back out and nobody would be bothered. He even told me he’d backed out before during a dive and it was often wise to trust your gut on these things. This is wisdom, I thought.

So I stood up out of the water and I looked around and had this moment: I’m in Bermuda, traveling the world for AirTreks, why do the hard thing when I could just be on the beach with a drink in hand? And then I realized that the fear and discomfort were minor things in a major moment. We have this saying in our house, “a small thing to a giant.” Courage is often about realizing inner strength, and we’re literally made of stellar material, so I like to think within me is a starload of cosmic force just waiting to become kinetic energy.

I decided this was about my mind, not about the activity or the breathing or the equipment. Who is in control of my mind if not me?

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