Thursday, September 30, 2010
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I like a nice orderly existence. Recently someone even used the word "regimented" when describing my weekly schedule. It's sort of like the chore schedule from long ago. You know--wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday, clean on Wednesday, bake on Thursday. You get the idea. On certain evenings I usually do certain things. Like eating dinner with Dr. Good Sense on Monday, working late at school on Tuesday, going to church on Wednesday,dining out with my friends in Jasper on Thursday, and now football on Fridays. I like order. I like a surprise free, drama free life.
I am not so much of an adventurer. For one thing, most adventures happen outside, where there are bugs, dirt and all of that outside air. Another problem with adventures is there is almost always some element of risk. What if I fail? What if I look like an idiot? What if I am so clumsy that I kill myself or worse, harm someone else?
The Oxford Dictionary defines adventure as "incident, event or occurrence; exploit, escapade, danger, peril, risk." Yeah, that sounds about right to me. Scary words. When you hear, "There was a incident." You are going to think that it wasn't something good happening, right?
Well, last weekend I went on an adventure. I traveled to Florida and went snorkeling in the ocean. You read right... I had an adventure and it was an outdoor, physical activity. If you have recovered from that massive surprise, I will give you another one-I LOVED it!
Of course, I was nervous in the beginning. It was scary to put my head under the water and yet not feel like I was breathing because I am not usually a mouth breather. But this time I wasn't using my nose at all. There is just something fundamental about wanting to get your head out of the water to take a breath. So I practiced a breathing outside of the water through the snorkel and that seemed to help calm my anxiety. On to trying to breath and swim at the same time.
Pretty quickly, I was able to swim around in the shallow water of the cove and see some pretty cool things. Let me also say that just seeing underwater was a very new thing to me. Without my glasses, I am too blind to see beneath the water and with contacts, I never want to open my eyes underwater because I am afraid the contacts would wash out. So I saw little fish, very brightly colored fish, a beautiful translucent blue jelly fish, a small sting ray, and a big crab in some rocks. I even dug up a clam and collected some shells off of the bottom of the ocean floor. It was odd that there a school of fish swam around me. The entire time I had been seeing groups of fish that swam away from me as soon as they sensed me, but this one time whatever was on the other side of the fish must have been more scary than me because they swam all around me. I could feel the water moving as they swam by but not one single fish actually touched me. It was a truly incredibly, breath taking experience.
I was thinking on the drive back home about how far outside my normal box the snorkeling adventure was and yet how amazing the experience was. It made me wonder about what sort of adventures other people have had and how they had turned out. Maybe a little adventuring in a safe environment might not always be such a bad thing after all.
What is the most adventurous experience you have ever had?