The only thing you hear is the sound of your own breathing. Every breath a conscious and deliberate attempt to keep yourself alive.
Diving. I’m talking about scuba diving.
Diving was something that I always wanted to do but never gotten around to doing till now. There was always some excuse – too many things going on with school, too expensive, no one to accompany me, etc. At the start of the year, I promised myself that I’m going to stop procrastinating. No more telling individuals we’ll meet soon for lunch, and not ever setting up a meeting. No more putting something on the bucket list, but never actually ticking it off.
As part of the PADI Open Water Certification, the first few dives were focused on getting your skills right. You’re taught how to clear your mask when it fogs, what to do if you accidentally lose your regulator during the dive, and if you start running out of air.
Because you are going underwater, you need to wear a mask that covers both your eyes and your nose. I mean I’m sure you don’t want have the salty sea water flooding your nose and stinging your eyes. A regulator, connected to you oxygen tank, is placed in your mouth to help you breathe.
It took about four dives for me to get the hang of things, and to be able to properly appreciate the majesty of the ocean. Turtles leisurely ploughed their way across the coral reef, while schools of fish swam close to you and even tried biting you. Sharks, yes blacktip sharks to be precise, scurried away from us. (Maybe because I’m Chinese).
I was spellbound.
The millennial in me was eager to document everything and share them on my social feeds. Fiddling with my Go-Pro, I was straining my ears trying to hear the clicks of the camera to indicate that that school of fish was securely imprinted on the SD Card.
And then that’s when it hit me. The only thing you hear is the sound of your own breathing. With the mask sealing your nose, you’re forced to use your regulator and breathe through your mouth. Every breath a conscious and deliberate attempt to draw air from your tank and to keep yourself alive.
I’m very conscious of my own mortality, but diving down underwater made me even more conscious of the fact that I’m still very much alive, and the beauty that life has to offer.
Live boldly. XOXO