I’ve come up again a lot of obstacles during this course, and most of them were things I expected. Learning new skills, refreshing old ones. Struggling with the physics aspect of the dive theory (there’s a reason I dropped that subject at A Level) and even getting up early every day. These were not surprise road blocks thrown in my path.
The real shock? The biggest obstacle to success and happiness? It’s been my own body and mind.
I don’t do getting sick very well. It’s frustrating at the best of times, but even worse when every day you take off is one wasted. So far in two months I’ve got properly ill – to the point where it’s disrupted my course – four times. Two colds, one ear infection and an extremely horrid week long stomach bug.
The trouble with all of those things is that you can’t just struggle on through with them and dive. Well, unless you want to rupture your ear drum or poop in your wetsuit that is. While it’s fine to snuffle into a tissue at your desk job, there’s no way you can dive with blocked sinuses. Not being able to do something I love, and having it slow my progress? Not cool. I was told I’d get sick doing this course, but I hadn’t appreciated just how often that would occur!
It’s not like I’m not looking after myself either. My diet here is pretty much free from dairy and wheat, and I’ve probably drank as much in the last two months as I did during a week when I was in Europe.
Hang on, maybe that’s it – gin clearly has a medicinal effect! Pass me that tonic water and lime…
Classic Overachiever Syndrome
My other big obstacle? The need behind my nonchalance to do really well. If I’ve had a meltdown about my performance on a dive or with students it’s usually been my first go at whatever I was doing.
The first time I had to officially guide students I felt so stressed out that the tears fell down my face when we got back to the boat as my body tried to offload some of the emotions coursing through my brain. I felt I hadn’t done the job perfectly (and of course I hadn’t, it was my first try) but I had done it well. That’s ridiculous, right?
And the second exam that I’ve been procrastinating about taking for so long, you may think that’s because I’m unsure on the theory? Nope! It’s because I only got one question wrong on the first test and that little mistake has been driving me crazy ever since. I don’t want to pass the test, I want to ace the test.
Having had a day in bed yesterday (where all I could manage was to blow my nose and fill the bin with tissues faster than a teenage boy) where I could process my emotions has shown me what a reckon’ eject I’ve been.
So here’s to my final week: to taking it in my stride and knowing that it doesn’t matter what happens, so long as I do my best. Just like my parents always told me.