Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest - aka I could have died!

During the second week of June--that's the 11-16--Elana Johnson is hosting the Never Surrender blogfest. This is something anyone, anywhere can participate in.

All you have to do is blog about a time you didn't surrender. Trained for a marathon? Queried agents? Had to study for an entrance exam? I'm looking for inspirational stories that you have experienced. Hard things you've accomplished because you didn't give up. I want to be inspired by you!

Anyone who blogs this week for the theme can enter to win one of three $15 B&N gift cards. Everyone who blogs this week will receive a SURRENDER swag package.

Don’t blog? Put the cover of Surrender up on your FB wall, or pin it on Pinterest, or change your twitter avatar to the cover. Use the words “Never Surrender” somewhere to go with the picture, and link back to this post.

Sign up in this form to make sure you get the swag package. Elana will visit each blog to read your inspirational "never surrender" moments. 

My Never Surrender moment has to do with Scuba Diving.  Now, I'm not the most adventurous person, but I wanted to give it a try, if only to prove to my boyfriend (now my hubby) that I wasn't a wimp.  My regular open water training went fine and I didn't have any problems.  The next year, however, I was going for my advanced diver cert.  This trip was a nightmare!

For your advanced cert, you need to do 5 specialty dives.  I can't remember all of what I did, but I remember a fish identification, a navigation, a night dive and a deep dive.  Fish and navigation were fine, no problem.  

Me in the water.
Then, the night I was getting in the water, I got stung all over my face by Agua Malas, the microscopic organisms that band together to form Portuguese Man of Wars.  My eyelid swelled up twice it's size before the dive, but I was determined to do it, so I went into the water.  I saw a bunch of cool night creatures...then almost got swallowed by some kind of huge eel when I put my hand in the wrong place.  My mask got caught in some sea weed covered in Agua Malas so my ear swelled up.  In the end, I decided night diving wasn't for me.  After I got out, I had to pour white vinegar all over my face - ever get vinegar in your eye?  Not something I ever want to repeat.  

This is the easy trip, though.  It was my deep dive that I'm most proud of myself for, because this one could have been a major catastrophe.  We went on a boat and swam out to an underground volcano for this dive the next morning.  I was the first to suit up, since I'm pretty efficient at gearing up, and I went around to the bow of the boat to wait for everyone to finish gearing up and join me.  I inflated my BC/vest, grabbed onto the anchor line, and waited.  After a few seconds, I noticed I had to inflate my vest again.  Some strong waves came in and knocked me against the boat a few times in an unpleasant way, and then I noticed I had to inflate my vest again.  At this point, I was getting frustrated and pissed, because I had 40 pounds of weight in my vest and everyone was taking so long.  My head went under a few times.  

I told our dive master that something wasn't working correctly, that my vest (that I had just spent $800 on, TYVM) kept losing air and I kept hitting the boat.  He grabs my bc and...the breather just pops right off into his hand.  Um, it shouldn't be doing that, especially on a brand new vest.  So, I'm tired from fighting the waves and freaked out because if I had gone down with that vest, I wouldn't have been able to get back to the surface.  We were going down 100 feet. 

Relaxing on the beach, back when I was a blondie.
Anyway, so we go to the back of the boat and my dive master asks for someone else's vest for me to borrow.  And I am suddenly bawling as the realization sets in that I COULD HAVE DIED!
The dive master looks at me like, "oh, god, not a silly crying girl" and says "Well, forget it then.  You can stay here."  And I get pissed at that look of irritation and pity on his face.  Really pissed.  Don't-you-dare-ever-pity-me pissed.  I yell out "No, goddammit, I paid $347 for this fucking cert, I doing my goddamn deep dive!"

I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head.  He swallowed, giving me a look like "Oops, I pissed off the wrong girl," then says "okay" in this really weak voice.  So, I change out my BC with my friend Katie's BC, do the damn dive, and am now an advanced cert diver!
Having a well-deserved margarita after my dive.

I didn't give up and I didn't surrender.  I returned home, demanded my vest get fixed, then went back to diving a few weeks later.  I have now done several deep dives with no more incident.  And that's it!  My story! 

Ah, to be 26 again.  :D  Okay, I'm off to make chocolate chip cookies for a swim party in a couple of hours.  Ta-ta!



  1. LOL, I'm proud of you Jaycee!!! I have never been diving - in fact, I've never done more than dip my toes in the ocean - so I salute your bravery. That must have been scary!

  2. LOL, that's awesome. I'm loving that blond hair and the amazing Girl Power attitude it brought forth from you!

    And for the record, you are a much braver girl than I, as I NO LONGER swim with things...But I am extremely proud to report, all three of my amazing girls, took lessons from The Husband, and they can swim, snorkel and snuba like mermaids. Although they are too young for their open water certifications, he taught the girls how to scuba dive in our pool last summer!

  3. Way to go! I've never been diving either, and I admire people who can. I have this fear of water--I don't like to be under it, actually. I'm fine as long as my head is above water, ha ha. But kudos!

  4. Glad you didn't die but that gave me quite a laugh! Too bad no one got a picture of the dive master's face.

  5. That sounds pretty scary! Was the vest defective when you bought it? I'm not sure I could ever do that, since I don't like being in deep water. I'm fine to swim through or out of the deep end, but swimming into deep water, or being in a pool or part of the ocean that's entirely deep would probably give me a panic attack.

  6. You are badass! Diving is such a cool thing to do, but I would never have had the courage to go back in the water after the stinging, let alone the dodgy vest!

  7. Wow, that sounds like a scary experience but good job on not giving up! :)

  8. That's sounds terrifying, but good for you on hanging in there!

  9. Wow, girl, don't scare me, I want to go for dive certification LOL
    Glad you were okay, because, truly, that must have been super scary!

  10. Yeah, that feeling of "I could've died!" is not fun. I'm glad you got all the dives done, but dude! Vinegar in your eye? That alone is a classic never surrendering moment. Thanks for participating in the blogfest!