Even as an intensity junkie I can honestly admit that diving is the most challenging activity I have ever done in my life. Usually when we consider persuing new advanterous activities we keep it safe and only approximately 50% is outside the actual comfort zone. That's why we go for it! Our body can relate with at least some parts of whatever we have chosen to do and our gut is telling us to just do it. For instance, if you start your driving lessons, you've probably already spent your entire childhood riding a bike, maybe a motorbike when you were a teenager, but most importantly - you were a passenger since your first ride from the hospital as a new born. It's still scary but your body remembers how you should feel and quickly picks up the new skills and creates new habitual responses to the challenge. How exciting it is to go for the very first spin?
To me diving was incredibly challenging, I honestly wasn't even aware how challenging it's going to be. Millions of people do it, so I should be able to do it too, right? What I didn't know was that I'm crossing not only my normal 50% but I'm light years beyond that bar. I have never been deeper than perhaps a pool depth, never used this sort of equipment: confining me to a mask, an air tank and lots of tubes - the only items that keep me alive. I have never been confronted by so many different factors, never voluntarily stepped into an alternative realm where gravity laws work differently than on the surface, where the pressure is making your entire body shrink, sound and light travel in a new way and creatures that you would normally only see in zoo or 'Finding Nemo' poke your forehead!
Even the pool training does not prepare you for what you experience when you descent for the very first time. My first ever dive was at the USS Liberty wreck in Tulamben, one of the most stunning diving spots in Bali. It was exhilarating and scary at the same time. Absolutely overwhelming experience and I'm pretty sure I forgot half of the things I was supposed to do! I was just staring at this brand new world uncovering in front of me while allowing my body to slowly go deeper and deeper under the surface of the water. Afterwards I couldn't even summarise all the emotions running through my body (and slept like a rock that night). I had to come back to the same location a few days later to actually see the wreck (well, just the first 18 meters as this is how deep my licence allows me to go) and that was a completely different experience. Years ago I thought that doing a yoga teacher training was a challenging experience, well, in a comparison that feels so simple. I'm sure that in a few years time I will find another challenge and announce to my students that I'm disappearing again for 3 months to start another adventure! Crossing the boundaries of your own comfort zone, throwing yourself into something you think you can't handle shakes your inner equilibrium, shows you how much more there is to explore, how amazing the world and the life is and makes you feel alive and in control of your own world! So, yes, be scared but DO IT ANYWAY!
Oh and I even saw a shark and a giant tortoise!