This weekend I submerged myself in freezing water (at least it felt that way)…why you may ask? Because I am a crazy lady who loves fish and may have been one in my past life. When I say fish I mean anything living underwater because even the most insignificant looking species can bring tears to my eyes. Yes I did say I was crazy!
So anyways back to the point, I went diving in the UK during the coldest weekend of our winter. The dive trip I was on was aptly named icebreaker and I did in fact break ice in the car park of Chepstow National Diving and Activity Centre. As you can guess I was a tad apprehensive coming from a warm water background where I struggle diving in a 5mm wetsuit in 21 degree’s but I was determined. So like the Spartans when they placed their babies on the hillside overnight I thought this was a necessary step to toughen me up (disclaimer: I do not agree with Spartan methods of child rearing).
Fins on, mask on, regulator in, giant stride into the water and…HOLY CRAP!!! I could imagine warm water all I wanted but my mindfulness skills are not quiet good enough to deceive my body to this extreme. At this point I was just bobbing on the surface and already my extremities where shouting ‘get me out of here’! There was no turning back though and after a small pep talk all that was left to do was release some air from my BCD and submerge.
The coldness drifted from my mind, the world went quiet and now all that was left was me and my surroundings.
Weaving in and out of the sunken boats, buses, planes and other randomly assorted objects was miles away from what I’m used to however this meant my focus shifted to the physical sensations of diving. If you have never dived it’s very hard to explain the calm that comes over you underwater as most people imagine the fear of being engulfed. The weightlessness and silence takes you to a new planet and sends me into a meditative state where my breath is my anchor and my mind is free of all thoughts but the present moment. It is a unique and magical feeling I have never been able to replicate through any other activity. I was back where I belonged.
40 minutes later however my body had given into the cold and it was time to get out. My fingers were numb, my hair looked like a birds nest and my face was bright red but it didn’t matter because the wonderful post dive tranquil happiness had come over me.
Now as I sit here reflecting on the icebreaker weekend in my warm home I realise that although braving the elements was tough and I did miss the fish it is the sensations of diving regardless of where I am and what I can see that I also love.
P.S I forgot to mention I actually managed three dives on the icebreaker all 30 minutes or more!!!