Old dog new tricks
30 September 2011 | Papeete, Tahiti
30 September 2011
Old dog new tricks
I have a confession to make. I love snowboarding, I got a kick out of jumping off a bridge attached to a bungee in my younger days, I've even jumped out of a plane and been ice climbing. I can climb the mast mid-ocean and I can give birth using hypnosis. In other words, I'm not a wuss. But SCUBA diving has just never appealed to me. You're just not supposed to breathe under water. I can snorkel until the rays come home, so long as it's not cold, just don't ask me to duck dive.
So after the obligatory heated discussion with Mark last night in which I accused him of bullying me into doing something I wasn't ready to do and him retorting that he knew I'd be like this the night before, picking up the phone to cancel, me replying we can't let Perrine down, I sulked off to bed at about 7pm. I even popped over to Dan's this morning to ask how much trouble I'd get into if I cancelled at such short notice (to which the reply was LOTS) There was no getting out of it. I was going to SCUBA dive today.
I set up the kids with their school work this morning and get all my stuff together. Mark drives me over to the dive school in the dinghy and I don't even say goodbye, because I'm still annoyed with him and if truth be known, pooping my pants. I've obviously already unconsciously divorced Mark by accidentally giving my maiden name in checking in. But we don't have a Catherine Lambert. The other guest smiles and says that his wife is still getting used to using his name – they're on their honeymoon. I didn't tell him we'd been married for 9 years.
And then, we're on the dive boat and Perrine is reassuring me that she will do everything for me, all I have to do is breathe and pop my ears. I put my two wetsuits on (OK, so I am wuss sometimes) and jump into the water, getting my BCD on. Perrine is a great instructor; taking everything at my pace, so calm all the time, not even flinching when I burst into tears twice and curse Mark for putting me into this situation. Yes, really. I hate not being good at something, but every time I went under the water I had an irrepressible urge to get to the surface of the water again. A bit like the roofer who can't bring himself to bungee – he's spent his whole life clinging on, so he can't let go.
This is ridiculous. I'm a hypnotherapist. I work with people's fears. If I can't work on my own, then what does that make me? So I have a word with myself and we start again. And this time I go down – OK, only 6 metres, but nevertheless, I am actually submerged and I can pop my ears and the fish are amazing and I can totally appreciate why people love diving. Perrine smiles at me but I hope she doesn't expect a smile in return; that would involve a whole other thought process and I can't multi-task right now. Does it make me want to dive more? I'm not sure. But I'll be happy to live vicariously through my children who can't wait to be old enough to SCUBA. Mark tells me how proud he is of me and I'm proud of me too. But I haven't quite forgiven him yet.