Saturday, March 14, 2015

A very special Discover SCUBA

   Found a quote that really resonated with me: "This morning I opened two gifts. They were my eyes."
   Today I had the opportunity to work with Jeffrey, Jackie, and Michael to teach two sessions of Discover SCUBA. The first group had about 10 students, adults and young adults, and all of the divers were vision and or hearing impaired. I got to work with Jasmine, a spirited and courageous young woman who couldn't see or hear. Katie, an interpreter, would sign directly on Jasmine's open hands so that she could read them. After a nervous start, Jasmine took to diving and was off like a rocket. She raced me across the pool several times, and laughed out loud when Katie caught up with her and told her that she had beat me once again.
   Recalling how nervous I was when I first started diving, I cannot even begin to imagine the courage it would take to attempt such a sport under such conditions. I am incredibly inspired by Jasmine and the other divers, all of whom did great!
   It reminded me of all the blind skiers that I saw on the slopes of Breckenridge last week. Each one had a guide skiing about 10 feet behind them, and a loose tether in case the guide needed to get their attention. Simply amazing. The slopes are challenging and potentially dangerous even when you can see, and I know I wouldn't have ever attempted it if I were in that situation.
   The afternoon class was adult couple, and 4 kids, ages 8-10, from 2 families. Their parents were there, the dads got in the water to observe, and we all had a great time. The kids all swam like fish!
   Jason sent this photo of the kids the following day at SeaLife, picking out the fish they wanted to see while diving. Brought tears to my eyes... so cool.  :) 
   My experience with swimming and diving had such recent, and such precarious starts, that I just love to work with students and help them jump into the sports that I now love. What a huge blessing and opportunity for me to get to work with them!