SCUBA Diving

14 Nov

Peering over the edge of the pool, my mind was racing. “Why are you doing this? You’re not a strong swimmer. You’re not even that comfortable around water. Why are you doing this?” I was perched on the edge of our W&L pool, getting used to the feel of a mask and flippers, not to mention a giant oxygen tank hanging on my back. Spring term of my freshman year I had lucked into enrolling in the popular PE Scuba Diving class, and was about to take the plunge.

The two week class turned out to be one of my favorites I’ve taken at Washington & Lee. Our first weekend was spent in the W&L pool, adjusting to the awkward tanks and flippers as we practiced rescue breaths and gradual ascents, surrounded by stark white tile. Although the days in the pool left me feeling a bit nervous and uneasy, that disappeared the next weekend as soon as we splashed into Lake Rawlings, a man-made lake only a few hours away. Almost as soon as we reached the platforms at 20 and 30 feet we were surrounded by schools of curious fish, so close we could almost touch them before they darted away. Fascinated I watched the swarm of bubbles streaming out as I cleared my mask and felt my ears pop with the increased pressure. I was too entranced to worry about being underwater; the same skills we’d practiced in the pool a week before seemed like second nature. With our certifications complete we explored the lake’s cars, “computer garden,” basketball court, and myriad of other sunken sights. The experience was unbelievable, and I can’t wait for my next opportunity to dive! Just one more reason to love the PE programs here at W&L.

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