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December 05, 2008

Milestones

Sometimes it seems that life is a never-ending series of goals. We plan on doing or achieving something, and then work towards that goal. Once we reach a milestone we've set for ourselves it's on to the next one. And so on. It's no different with diving. First it was actually signing up for scuba lessons, then buying my first set of basic scuba gear (mask, snorkel, fins), then that first breath underwater from a bottle of compressed air, then getting certified in Folsom Lake. Then planning for the first "real" dive, the first night dive, the first Nitrox dive, and the first dive in the ocean.

The one problem with achieving goals is that they can leave you feeling empty. You're there, you've done it, now what? I felt that way after I had successfully defended my thesis many years ago and years of study were over. They say that the journey is the reward and that is undoubtedly true, but it's still the milestones that we remember.

Over the relatively brief time since I became interested in scuba diving I've experienced a lot of interesting things and seen many new places. Yet, for some reason the big milestone is seeing sharks. It's been my goal almost since I started. Maybe it's because people almost invariably ask, "Have you seen sharks?" when you tell them you're a diver. Maybe it's more of a primal thing, one ultimate predator meeting the other.

I had the chance to go on the shark trip in Honduras, but somehow I didn't. I had all sorts of excuses. It cost a good bunch of money. It meant missing some of the regular dives. It was a land trip and then a 30-minute boat ride into the open ocean. It was a 70 foot drop off instead of the 30-50 foot drops I prefer. But lots of other people went, so maybe I was just scared.

I am going on another trip there now, and maybe this time I'll see the sharks. It's a milestone in my diving career. If I do it, how will I feel?

Posted by conradb212 at December 5, 2008 04:10 PM

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