Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Learning to Dive

As the new year approached, I was having a hard time facing it with any enthusiasm...which was definitely out of the norm for me. I love a fresh start whether it is a new year, a new month, a Monday, or simply a morning. But 2017 looked like it was going to be a letdown after the wonderful year of racing, PRs, and trips with my one true love that was 2016. I was injured with no relief in sight, and I was trying to shift my focus upward instead of inward, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

One chilly rainy day, I was sitting next to Jason on the couch as Eloise and Matthew played around us, and I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw an ad for a trip to swim with the manatees. I'd always wanted to do that ever since I was a little girl. I used to have posters on my wall, glass figures on my dresser, and t-shirts, all devoted to my beloved manatee. And even though I lived in Florida, only a few hours away, I never made it to see them in person.

I shared this with Jason, and his response was, "Well, let's plan a trip then." I love that man. I then explained to him that we had to go soon because the manatees were usually in Florida from January through the end of March. He was still game. I then admitted I not only wanted to swim with manatees, I wanted to learn to scuba dive as well. Within an hour of this couch conversation, we were dressed, our kids were loaded in the car, and we were on our way to Southeastern Divers Inc. to register for a Scuba class and sign up for the manatee trip that would follow the four required open water dives in Florida.

I was given an open water dive manual to read before my class in February, and instructed to come to the store to watch the 5 videos that accompanied it. I completed it all, and spent Saturday, Feb 11 in the classroom and the following Sunday trying out everything we learned in a University pool. It all came easily and I loved every minute. I was breathing UNDER WATER! As I drove home, tired and excited, I couldn't wait to head to Florida the next weekend to try out everything in open water, and share this amazing experience with Jason, who has been certified to dive since high school. He took a refresher course before our trip and has since begun his certification as an advanced open water diver.

As we headed to Florida on February 17 for a long weekend of diving and exploring, we realized it was the first time in 9 years we'd gone on a trip together that was not centered around a race. And it was only the 3rd such trip of our married life, and that counts our honeymoon too. I had a pretty strong feeling this new year of 2017 was not going to be a letdown after all, but a grand new adventure for us to enjoy together. And how amazing it has been so far!

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