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  • Writer's pictureHind Elhinnawy

A fearless moment!

Updated: Nov 12, 2021


Now that I’m cherishing a new side effect from the chaos I faced and contributed in in my life lately – fearlessness. Not exactly fearlessness, but I’m finding that I’m more drawn to crazy activities than I used to be. For over fifteen years, I have constantly been asked by my friends to take an intro dive with them, and I have constantly replied “I am claustrophobic, can’t do it”.

So I crammed my butt into a wet suit, stood there with an air tank on my back, way heavier than I expected, a weight belt, and an extremely binding vest with a zillion tubes hanging out of it. Overwhelmed, the meaning of the tubes started to escape me. Led to the sea in flippers with little peripheral vision because of the mask I was wearing. That was not cool.

My diving buddy, the very patient Tarek, showed me how to breathe under water through the air tank. I kept trying but the idea that I would not use my nose for the next hour freaked me out. I switched on my panic mantra (If something went wrong my diving buddy would pull me up, if something went wrong my diving buddy would pull me up) and in.

Tarek stayed right in my face. I was petrified, but I was determined (If something went wrong, my diving buddy would pull me up) fear would not win this time. I went down, equalizing my ear pressure whenever Tarek asks me to do so. At this critical point I realized that my main fear was that I was sinking when I normally would be floating. Being a control freak, this wasn’t sitting well with me at all. My brain was telling me that if I let go I would continue to descend slowly until I was stuck forever on the ocean floor. That is what my brain tells me in every other situation too. I had forgotten that I had fins, strong legs and a capable instructor. I let go.

And there I was in the sea. . I lost all my fears, my real fears, and felt as if I am only watching television. I forgot who I was, and felt like a newborn baby staring at everything around me in amusement.

I cared not about how many meters underwater were we, or how much time have we been there. All what I was focusing on is this new world I am seeing; a complete life that exists out there without our awareness of it. I was watching like a kid.

Tarek took my hand and led me to a fish hiding in the sand. Kneeling close by this strange and beautiful creature, my breathing noise transcended to a calming yoga-like hum. The fish, deciding it wanted nothing more to do with us, got up and “flew” away. I gave chase. I hadn’t even realized that my fear was gone. I was one with the ocean.

Experienced divers would no doubt be completely unimpressed by what this dive offered but I’ve heard before that you never forget your first dive and I would have to go along with this. This first dive gave me the opportunity to enjoy the richness, thrill and feelings of freedom and achievement that you get when exploring the undersea world. Since then I’ve read a few scuba diving articles and seen the amazing sights and experiences on offer throughout the world on reefs and wrecks. I don’t know where my next dive will be. What I can tell is that there will definitely be a next dive, and soon. Scuba diving is more than I expected it to be, and no matter what happens next I am sure

I will never forget the thrill of that wonderful first dive. As for my chaotic life I’m also striving to keep my panic mantra switched on “Let Go and Let God, Let Go and Let God.” And reminding myself of the most beautiful world I’ve ever seen when I decided to let go “The Underwater Life.” If I rid my brain of everything that’s merely taking space, the trash I am clinging to, I will allow treasures to find me.

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