Fears are funny things. It is amazing how powerful and yet irrational they can be. I have always had a fear of putting my head underwater. Silly right? But as silly as this fear seems, I have missed out on so much because of it!
While I can swim and don’t mind being in the water, I hate (I mean HATE) putting my face underwater. I think it is a combination of things–never really learning how to keep water from going up my nose and pool/salt water irritating my eyes. Bottom line, I am just not one of those people who feels at home in the water!
So naturally, I have never shown any interest in snorkeling. Everyone always told me how fun it was and what I was missing out on. But ironically the snorkel mask only agitates my irrational fear of putting my head underwater and not being able to breath through my nose stresses me out even more.
But Brittany was determined to get me to snorkel in Barbados. Unlike me, I am pretty sure she is part fish! Pushing yourself to overcome a fear is a lot of work and not easy. But I told myself that being here was a once in a life time experience and I should give it one last try.
Fortunately, Britt was super patient and we started in the shallow surf. Of course I freaked out at first, but she wouldn’t let me give up and patiently waited for me to re-group and try again. After a few minutes I started to relax and before I new it, I was chasing sea turtles!
I have to say, everyone was right! I totally get why people like to snorkel now and I am kind of mad at myself for not pushing myself sooner. By the end of my first outing, we swam all the way to a shipwreck off the coast and saw an amazing array of sea life. And after several attempts, I finally touched a sea turtle (those little buggers are fast!).
I am still not 100% comfortable with snorkeling, on my second outing I had another mini freakout, but I pushed through. Monday we chartered a catamaran and I was a little worried about having to drop into deeper water. But, as Brittany can attest, I did great (even better than expected)! We swam with huge sea turtles who were definitely not afraid of us and would get so close they would bump into us! We also explored another ship wreck and a reef full of fire coral. I think I can officially tell people, I snorkel!