Thursday, 14 April 2016

Conquering fear of diving in deep water, one step at a time

Thank you for mailing me your super secrets on things you are scared of doing. That was good response to my previous blog where I had mentioned about trying to do ten things that I am afraid to do.To continue this, I have picked up my fear of diving in deep water as a new task that I need to do to strike off my list.

Because I don't know how to swim, I never ventured into water level above my knee on a beach. If by any chance I do some water sports activity, like going around on a banana boat, I never jump into water. Reason 1) How do I climb on the boat again? Reason 2) what if my life jacket fails?

In April 2013, I went for a trip to Andaman Islands and I ventured into deep sea for the first time We did a sea walk stint near Coral Islands there. The people over there were reluctant to assist an amputee but after finding me over enthusiastic, they took me in. We did some initial training, and I was ready for my sea walk experience. The most difficult part for me was climbing down a ladder and then equalization of pressure. Somehow completed the whole walk in water. When I reached the surface, my nose started bleeding and I had the most terrible headache. That day I told myself that I will never dive in deep sea again. (That was headache talking)

But in April 2015, when Divyanshu Ganatra asked me to try scuba diving, I somehow forgot about my old experience and directly said yes. Divyanshu has started his own organisation that promotes adventure sports for people with disabilities called Adventures beyond Barriers. In India ABB is pioneer in promoting adventure sports (check out their details here)  and I was lucky enough to learn the techniques and skills from Kshitij Mittal from FinKick Adventures(check out their details here ).
My first part of SCUBA training was completed and I was asked to learn swimming to finish the next 2/3rd of the course. Somehow due to tournaments and work I never prioritized swimming and never ventured into water after April 2015.

In March 2016, our support group from Bangalore (It is named as One Step at a Time started by Hema Subhash along with AASTHA foundation by Sunil Jain) organised a small swimming camp for people with orthopedic disabilities to learn how to swim. This motivated me to learn swimming here in Mumbai. I filled out my forms, got medically certified, and I started my very own swimming camp.

It has been few sessions now, and I am learning on my own. I know that it will be a slow process but I have taken up this task and there is no looking back. I now wish to swim without assistance and that too in the deeper part of the pool. Once I finish this, I am again going to Pune to finish my course in Scuba diving and hopefully be a certified diver to dive unassisted in open waters.

All thanks to Divyanshu, Kshitij, Hema and Sunil who inspired me to learn a skill I never thought I could learn after my accident.
I will post pictures of me learning how to swim soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment