Scuba would be a good idea right now
Precisely 5 days after moving my stuff into a storage unit and sleepwalking through the work week, I started an open water certification course. I chose my instructor well, the patient and professional Dave Meechan, the husband of a former colleague I'd known for years. Raelyn had been wanting to get certified as well so we lept in together.
After a few sleepy book lessons, and commentary from Raelyn the producer on the video production quality, we were ready for the pool. But Florida was not ready for us.
We were 1 skill away from finishing confined water 1 and the lightning alarm went off. Total write off. This happened again the next week, so there were lots of repeats. We were in a rush to complete the course before I left for Ireland so time was of the essence.
Anyway, the weekend of Labor Day looked promising as with good weather, and three straight days of diving and tests, we could be done by Monday night. We still worked around the crazy weather, sitting in the car at the beach, refreshing the radar every 2 minutes to see where the lightning was. On Monday, Raelyn was not comforted by the massive bolts we'd seen just minutes before setting out. "I'm not dying for this license" she said!
The open water dive was nerve wracking at first. Between the vicious weather, our sinus issues and the 'big hairy divers' going for lobster in our boat, we felt like ill-equipped amateurs. I floated at the surface, 60ft above the reef and looked down to navy-black darkness. So I just focused on Dave and my breathing as we went down.
The past 3 weeks had been leading up to this moment. Scuba teaches you not to die as you look at amazing stuff underwater. I kinda knew how not to die and now I was going to get to see the stuff. Now...I know Florida's Atlantic reefs are not kaleidoscopic wonderlands, but the sea floor blew me away. Weighted perfectly, I sped forward, on a current that made me feel like I was flying above another world. The fish continued as normal, the corals waved and worms popped into their holes as I passed. I felt like I was watching a video of someone else's life so I just relaxed and calmly floated by. It was amazing.
We did another dive soon after and I triumphantly yet reluctantly returned to the surface, shouting to the boat that I had passed the course!!
Marj had champagne waiting for us at home and I bragged about to anyone who would listen at work the next day!