Thumb! Thump! Thump! Thump! I can still hear it. On January 1st, 2009 my heart raced to the sound of the propellers. At the same time, I looked down at the water knowing in just a few minutes the water would surround me like the air that captivated me then. The very thought of this terrified every fiber in my bones. As the sound of the boat becomes a hum, I could feel my brother’s smile warming my body as he asks if I am ready. I stood up, forgetting the massive tank strapped to my back. I tried to catch my balance as I wobble on an already unstable boat. My brother chuckled at the sight of my lack of grace with my flippers. As I walked to the edge of the boat, two fairly large men grabbed my arms. Although I pondered why, if I was going to jump a few seconds later, but I restrained myself from making that comment. It felt as though everyone stared at me, even though I know this was not true.
“Ready?” One of the men asked me with a reassuring smile.
“Three, two…” As the men count down I seem to have forgotten everything that I learned. The only thing I could remember was that I could actually die from this.
“… One!” With that, I jumped forgetting what was already forgotten.
As I descended into the depths of the ocean I came to realize something: being underwater relieves all stress. I had not thought about this before, even though it should have seemed obvious when they taught us the most important rule in scuba diving, “DO NOT hold your breath underwater!” In order to be a fish you must take slow, deep breaths, or you cannot breathe. As I took those deep breaths, all the nerves and fears were released from my body and ceased to return. Along with taking the deep breaths, there was the scenery. It is one thing to be told that the Florida Keys contain some of the most beautiful reefs in America; it is another to see them.
At first swimming underwater seems to fade color, but then the fish appear. They were blue, yellow, pink, orange, basically any color one can imagine, and every single one of them were beautiful. Randomly, they would appear out of the reefs and I could not do anything but stare. Before I knew it, it was time to go back on the boat. After we had got a chance to sit down, I realized how long we were down there. My fingers were so wrinkled they resembled trenches from WWI, my leg were freshly made gelatin, my nose still burned from the salt water, and I was so tired I could have crashed right there. Even with all of that, all I wanted to do was go back. Sadly, we had to go back to The Florida Keys Dive Center.
Once we had returned, I was not only excited to tell everyone how much I enjoyed it, but I earned to get my certification card. This card not only stood for what I have done, but also gave me the chance to go back and do it again. Diving is one of the most exhilarating things a person can experience. The nerves, the relaxation, the colors, and even the soreness, were all I needed to have my perfect trip. Discovery of new places is what drives us to learn, and scuba diving in the Keys is a good place to start.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.