Friday, May 6, 2016

Getting out of the comfort zone

As this long anticipated vacation approached, I envisioned days of relaxation with long periods of inactivity where my brain cells "vegged out" as much as the rest of my body. As its turned out, both are remaining quite active and the lounge chair next to the ocean sits empty as Cheryl, Jenna and I explore and experience the many wonderful activities on Gili Trawangan. 

Are for today, it started with another early morning run (or attempt to run) around the island. As I mentioned, yesterday's attempt to get around it was a complete disaster. Today I borrowed Cheryl's iPod and took off with complete confidence and enthusiasm that with music, I would zip around the perimeter road with ease, gracefully passing the local horse carts and bidding good morning to the local merchants in the market. Though Jay Sean and the Blackeyed Peas did their best, the heat and after effects from the Hot Mango Margarita(s) I had last night were too much and I again failed to make it around without walking. On the bright side, I did get much farther than yesterday (I'm nothing if not an optimist!)

The big activity today was our first of three training days to get our open water diving license. Yes you read that correctly Cheryl and I signed up to get our PADI certification. Since later in the trip we will be spending 3 days on Komoto Island where there is some of the best diving in the world we figured we would regret not getting it. Besides how hard can it be right?  Ya right.....

There morning started with the theory and book work. Book work?  But I'm on vacation?  Can I at least have a beer and eat some shrimp while I study?  Though the material is interesting it was a little unnerving as they spoke about exploding lungs when surfacing to fast or never holding your breath or you die. I kept asking myself "why am I doing this again?"  I don't have many pictures of the experience as they didn't fancy me taking a bunch of selfies in my gear while I'm supposed to be learning life saving diving techniques. Go figure. I did catch one of Cheryl concentrating during one of the videos. 
There were many memorable moments of the first day of class, most of which I won't bore you with but I will tell you, the feeling I had that first time sitting at the bottom of the pool breathing from my tank was completely unexpected. As a good swimmer I thought I would take to it quite naturally, but swimming and diving are completely different. Quite honestly, I was a little panicked at first. I had a couple urges to go back to the surface but there were 5 others in class, all of which appeared to be doing just lovely, that I found my desire to not be "that guy" outweighed my anxiety so I got through it. Peer pressure is a powerful thing. 

Though Jenna is not going for her PADI certification (she leaves in a few days) they allowed her to learn some basic techniques and join on out in the bay and actually dive with us in the afternoon. Of course she did terrific and took to it like a "fish to water" (not bad eh?) Again not to blather on about the experience, but being in the bay swimming underwater for an extended time with the fish and seeing the beautiful corral up close was incredible. I still got anxious about the breathing but it was much better. We spent about 35 minutes underwater. Wow!
The rest of the day's activities paled in comparison to learning to dive, but we did of course make time celebrating our accomplishment at the swim up to bar. Cheers to day 1 in the books!
One of the underlying storylines of this entire trip was for the three of us to get get out of our comfort zone. Certainly flying 18 hours to Bali and scuba diving fall into that category, but there are more subtle but just as important aspects to this trip including living in a swimsuit and going without shoes all day. I really like the security of shoes but with sand everywhere no one wears shoes. It's barefoot or flip flops. Seriously. My mind and body can only take so much!  Another beautiful sunset on Gili Trawangan.  

Sure there is more to tell, but it's late and I need to rest up for that attempt to get around the island and day 2 of diving class!

1 comment:

  1. SCUBA!!! I am so happy for you, you've entered a whole new world - enjoy!