This year I did two pretty big adventurous things, out of my comfort zone, and all I had to do was say yes. I got to go Great White shark diving in Mexico and I ran a half marathon, both of which are entirely outside my comfort zone. Both of the adventures were presented to me around the same time, and this crazy part of me told me, I have to do these things. I want to live a full life, a life full of stories with both pain and triumph. You don't get those kind of stories or experiences by not living an adventurous life. So I said yes.
Don't get me wrong, I had to say yes over and over again, especially while training for the half marathon. Everyday for months I had to say yes, and many a days I failed. Then the next day I got up and tried again. There were a handful of times I wanted to just quit, but really I didn't want to quit, I just didn't want to run that day. What I have truly learned to love about running is how it is a testament to your own strength and journey. A mile is a mile, no one can take it from you. And then there is the fact that you never really want to run, or if you do, its short lived. Until you are out there, and you are almost done, and you are amazed at what you can accomplish if you really try. I love how I feel after a run. I just did something I either didn't think was possible or didn't want to do and it's only 7 am. I achieved my biggest goals from running this half, I finished the race at my goal time and I became a runner out of it. Halfs might not be what I choose to run from here on out, but I will forever be a runner after this. All because, when a friend asked me, I said yes.
Sharks on the other hand, are a whole other version of scary. God, I am so scared of them. I have been scuba diving since I was 12, and yes, I have seen plenty of sharks, but nothing scares the crap out of me still like a shark. Namely though, the Great White shark. Obviously. We are all universally afraid of these apex predators. And of course, shark week does and then again doesn't help that fear at all. This year when my dad was unable to go on his anniversary trip with my step mom due to tearing his Achilles' tendon, Laura asked me to take his place. We would be a doing a live aboard dive ship in the Guadeloupe Islands diving 4 times a day in cages with Great Whites. As much as I wish I was brave enough to just say yes right away, I was pretty scared out of my mind. I couldn't even imagine the first jump into the water. I knew how bummed my dad was that he couldn't go, he and my step mom are fearless, this was their dream. And Josh kept encouraging me. Ok, fine, yes, I'll go.
Here we go! First dive!
This sight never looses it's impact as you see their shear size and speed circling the back of the boat.
Crap, here we go. I had talked to my family, friends, and clients about my trip, people either thought I was straight out of my mind or were so jealous of how lucky I was. I'll be the first to say that I am both. Their encouragement and prayers though, I swear is what I accredit my overwhelming peace with. The day came where we finally jumped in, and of course, what are the odds that I was on the first dive and first one in the water??? I was. Like a badass. I went in, cold, but so at peace and just excited to see some sharks. Which I did. Right away. Two right bellow me. Then another two. The size of a small bus going by. This continued for the next 3 dives that day and the next 3 following days. It was one of the most amazing and wonderful experiences of my life. Laura and I had the time of our lives. I will forever be thankful that in this turn of events that I got to go on that trip and that I got that special time just me and Laura. We met some great people, swapped dive stories, life stories, took a ton of pictures, ate some yummy food, and lived a full life that week. Because I said yes. I am so thankful.
Those creepy beady eyes.
Their size is amazing, you can't believe it, even in person.
Doesn't he look like Bruce from Nemo?
Look how big he is next to the two story cage!!!
Selfie with a Great White, check.
Can I also say that I didn't zoom at all taking these pictures. That is how close they really came.
I could go on and on about all the stories and encounters, but just know that it really was as crazy, scary, exhilarating, and amazing as you think it would be. I can only hope that I get to do it again someday with my dad, Laura, Josh and my sister Cait so we can all experience it together. I highly recommend this being on your bucket list. While on the topic of bucket list, I highly recommend you have one, and start pursuing it now. Life is so short, so fragile, and so precious. Live the life you want, to the fullest, with your loved ones, and enjoy every second of it.
That is a small glimpse into what saying yes has taught me this year!