Take on something new! (I dare you!)

by Joebaby on May 23, 2010

The ocean can be a scary place… I used to have nightmares of sinking in it as a kid. Its BIG and DEEP and full of weird stuff including SHARKS!!!

(Scared yet? ;)

The ocean is also a place of fathomless beauty and wonder… a place we go to to be baptized and reborn.

A few weeks ago I taught half this group how to snorkel. Some were strong swimmers, some didn’t know how to swim, and some were scared of the ocean. It was the beginning of a five day dolphin trip that Jen and I were leading. Day one is ‘get friendly with the water’ day, and its one of my favorite.

These brave adventurers brought their brand new masks, snorkels and fins into the water. After showing them how to adjust and wear them, they each got coached in putting their face into the water and breathing thru their snorkel. Not an easy feat! Putting your face IN the water and inhaling is counter-intuitive. It takes a bit of practice and a lot of trust.

Then, once everyone’s floating comfortably face down on the surface, I taught them each how to to do a surface dive.

Yup, virgin first-time beginner snorkelers learning how to freedive – it was awesome to behold how their excitement lead them thru their fear.

The whole thing took less than two hours… Like learning to ride a bike, now they have a skill for life! I get so inspired watching people overcome their fears, I’m often moved to tears. (I’m sure it was the salt water… ;)

Twenty years ago, I taught my former mother-in-law how to snorkel… she was scared but was curious to see what we were so interested in. I remember getting her to float on the surface of the ocean and keeping her face in the water… it took a few minutes, but then she got the hang of it…

Then the magic ensued…

She stopped thinking about the snorkel and began to notice the fish life at her feet… Watching her from a few feet away, I could feel the shift… she began swimming slowly along the shoreline, following the nooks and crannies of the rocks, and for the next fifteen minutes, didn’t lift her head out of the water once

And when she did, she was radiant! The same radiance I saw on these friend’s faces – the beautiful innocent look of wonder…

I’ve seen this happen so many times; once people get a glimpse of life under the sea, they become enraptured.

The very next day, our group of first time snorkelers were swimming and playing off the back of a boat in forty feet of crystal clear blue water with the wild dolphins; they were ecstatic!

Take on something new; it will open your horizons.

And we swam with the dolphins!

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