I Kicked My Phobia's Patootie

Jul 06, 2014

As mentioned in a post or two before, I have (or had) a debilitating fear of open water and the creatures that reside in said open water. When me and my family were in Key West, we all went snorkeling at the reef and what should have been an incredible experience for me was in fact horrifying. I forced (yes like physically forced) Matthew to hold my hand the entire time and whenever a fish of any kind came anywhere near me, I started hyperventilating and doing exactly what you shouldn't do in open water: flailing like a dying seal. 

One of my goals for this trip was to conquer this fear to the best of my abilities. Well...

Drumroll please...

I, Elissa Sundman, fearer of all things ocean, am now a PADI certified SCUBA diver, allowed to dive up to a depth of 60 feet (18 meters). Not only did I become certified, but I also jumped out of a boat into the open ocean wearing no gear other than a mask, snorkel and flippers, and tried to chase down a whale shark (unfortunately I didn't catch a glimpse). Me. I did that. And not only did I do all that, but I actually enjoyed it!

Diving 1

Diving 2

Diving 3

Diving 4

Diving 5

Diving 6

I wasn't even scared at all. Well okay there was this one time...we were diving at a spot called Black Coral Wall which is aptly named as it is essentially a wall of coral that drops off seemingly into the abyss. When I came over that wall, I must admit my stomach dropped for a second, but I just turned back to the wall and kept diving. 

So have I conquered my fear? Sort of. I actually still panicked one time while snorkeling well after being certified to dive, and had to leave the water. Something about being on top of the water like that, rather than in it, is a lot scarier to me now. But give me some SCUBA gear and I'm good to go! Go figure. I guess I'm at least well on my way towards being able to swim carefree no matter where I am. And I'm pretty happy about that. Traveling has an amazing way of making you do things you wouldn't normally do, but that you should have been doing all along. 

P.S. Underwater Vision was decided on as our group's dive shop of choice and I honestly can't imagine having gone with another. While I'm sure the others are fantastic, UWV is where it's at.


Please add a comment

Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.