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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scuba Diving

Cross training...... my way of saying "I don't feel like running today"

Numerous studies will tell you how cross training is essential for runners.... so I don't feel so bad when I go sailing and substitute that for running.  It is important to work different muscle groups while giving others a break. Lucky for me I have plenty of hobbies to keep me busy when my shins call it quits or when my dog chews my running sneakers.

If you know me you know I can't sit still and I am always up to something new.... My newest adventure is scuba diving. Being a marine science major and a lover of lobsters, scuba diving was something I ALWAYS wanted to do.. Problem?  I was scared shit-less.   I am a little claustrophobic (I once freaked out in a bouncy house maze), I tend to get pretty anxious, and I am a control freak.   Because of my extreme anxiety about scuba diving I dragged Thatcher with me to scuba class (willingly suprisingly).  

This is what I thought I would ook like 

But I probably look a little more like this

The class was offered at Divers Cove, Check them out here- an awesome dive shop right down the road in Essex (+1).  Classes were on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9:30 ish (-1 this is my dinner time).  Thursdays were in a class room down the road (+1) and Tuesdays in the highly chlorinated pool full of band-aids and overweight women in one peices at the Westbrook YMCA (-1).  

Picture looking up at this underwater...

First classroom session brought on a little bit of homework, more anxiety, and lots of excitement.  The first pool session went a little like this:
* Dont show up late in fear of being humiliated and owing a man poland spring water bottles (Dont ask)
* Swim test- lots of laps and treading water- harder than it sounds
* Try to distinguish all this foreign gear and attempt to put it together.
* Jump in the pool wearing all this weight 
*Spend two minutes underwater and decide I want to run out of the pool rip all my gear off......maybe I can return it all....?
* 2 minute later we are onto skills.. SKILLS??!! are you kidding- I am still working on breathing never mind flooding my mask- Skill right now is living......
* Complete the skills any way and tell the instructors I am freaking out a little. or a lot 
* My dive buddy was also my boyfriend who was virtually blind and had very little patience with me (need a new dive buddy one with somewhat decent vision.. any takers?)
* Finish the class and go home and do a lot of thinking...and eating wings, and drinking margs (45 cent wings and 2.50 margaritas can cure any bad day)

Weeks 2, 3, and 4 improved drastically, (except for having to run out of the pool every hour to pee- awkward) not only was I starting to enjoy it but I was doing really well.  Until week 5..... I decided to ignore the instructors advice on wearing a hood and gloves (mistake #1- why are they always right....) from the very beginning-  the pool was already warm and I figured it wouldn't make that much of a difference right? 

and they look terrible- yikes....

The hood was uncomfortable and made me claustrophobic, the gloves took away any dexterity I had.  It was a disaster.  After a lot of struggle, a few tears, and a few kind words with instructors, it was too late to back down.  Our open water dive was this weekend and I didn't spend all this time and money to fail now...

Our first open water dive was in a lake in Union CT.  I was terrified and nervous but comforted by the idea of a lake and not a turbid ocean.  I mastered all of the skills and kicked some butt. 

Here is the lake we dove in, at Bigelow Hollow State Park- gorgeous

 Our next dive was the following day in Jamestown RI, a beautiful little spot in Fort Wetherill.  While my ear pain wasn't as bad, it was still present on the descents.  We made it to a max of 25' and spent the morning searching for lobsters with no luck :(

This is where we dove in RI- another great spot.

We packed up our gear, went home, and passed out due to exhaustion.  All of the swimming and all of the weight from the gear is quite the work out.  The next day I woke up with a obnoxious pain and what felt like water in my right ear.  Being the brat that I am I didn't get it looked at and proceeded with my normal schedule of working, riding, eating, etc.  The next day was a double shift for me, 8 hours at the environmental firm and 8 hours at the bar.  It happened to be 5$ frozen drink night and karaoke- the worst night to bartend- The pain in my ear was increasing by the minute.. was it the scuba diving? or was it the amateur karaoke... only a doctor could tell. 

Tuesday night karaoke brings this type of crowd

Most of them don't drink and have no business behind a mic.  Bartenders nightmare

7:30 am I parked myself outside the clinic with hopes of being the first in line at their 8am start.  At this point the pain was unbearable and I considered removing said ear.  The 45 minute wait on the curb with my truck driver friend turned into a 2 minute appointment with a doctor who told me it was indeed a scuba injury.  An ear squeeze and most likely a ruptured ear drum.
Awesome, Thanks DOC! 

60 dollars of prescriptions later I am still in pain and calling a bag of potato chips dinner. 

Guess I will start running again tomorrow...

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