Back in July, I created a bucket list challenge for myself. I am trying to complete these 30 things before I turn 30 years old. I’m still planning on saving skydiving for my 30th birthday, but I’ve been slowly working my way through the list. So far I’ve completed 12 out of 30.
Scuba diving has always been a dream of mine. I wanted to be a famous oceanographer like Robert Ballard, who found the Titanic in 1985. Like Ballard, I’ve always been fascinated with the ocean. I was a competitive swimmer for years as a kid, and I always wanted to learn to scuba dive.
During our trip to Jamaica for the Social Media On the Sand (#BeachesMoms) conference, the all-inclusive Beaches Resort in Negril had an unlimited diving experience available. It’s a two-day course – PADI resort certification training the first day and then your actual ocean dive on the second day.
We were lucky enough to be paired with Tiffany Krumins and her husband. Tiffany was on the very first ABC’s “Shark Tank” show and was one of the speakers at the conference. Tiffany is the inventor of the Ava the Elephant® children’s medicine dispenser. And she just happens to live about an hour from me. We met in Jamaica for the first time, but we shared an amazing first-time experience together and have become good friends!
I thought scuba diving would be really easy, but learning so much in such a short period of time is intimidating. We had to learn how to hook up our own gear, practice emergency situation drills, and master all of the underwater signals. Generally a thumbs up means, “I’m good.” or “I’m okay.” but underwater that means, “I’m in trouble and need to go up.” The okay hand signal means, ‘Everything is fine.”
I also learned a cool dive trick to clean water out of your mask. You can actually remove your mask under the water and use air bubbles to blow out the water without surfacing.
I inhaled some water and got choked during the practice run so I was really nervous about getting choked up 40 feet under the water. Luckily the dive went perfect, I didn’t need to surface, we saw some amazing fish, and I didn’t run out of air!
Fun fact: Men usually take deeper breaths than women so they run out of air quicker. My husband used his entire tank on our practice dive. Every person has a backup regulator on their tank, so if you run out, you can use someone else’s in an emergency situation.
Scuba diving was exhilarating and much more challenging than I had imagined. I will definitely do it again. I created this one year bucket list because I am approaching the big 3.0. and I want to enjoy the years I have left, make every second count, and continue to push myself to try new things.
My dad died this year, and it made me realize how short life really is. If I live as long as my dad, my life is already halfway over. Instead of dreaming of things you could be doing, set a deadline and start planning. Make things happen.