heavy heart, heavy mind

It’s with a truly heavy heart that I write this post.  I have been writing it in my head for many months, but now is the time to write it here.

Scuba diving carries an inherent risk, and sometimes people die while scuba diving.  It’s a tragedy, and it hurts everyone who dives, and it hurts families, and it hurts the industry.  So this weekend I was upset when a man that was diving recreationally off the boat I was on, died while diving.

He was 59 years old, and he was a friendly man. I didn’t know him personally, but he was a diver on our boat, and when we returned he didn’t come home with us, and he won’t come home again. The boat was one man lighter, but it seemed heavier with the loss.

This is not the only diving death I’ve known this year.  A coworker of a friend passed while scuba diving in Mexico. And a friend of mine was part of a rescue that was not successful.  Each death hits close to my heart, and to the heart of every diver.

I am a scuba instructor.  I take people into the ocean for their first time to blow bubbles, to see fish, to do what I love. and I preach diving conservatively every step of the way. Because Scuba diving carries a risk, please do not add to the risk.  Take every possible  precaution to guard your life, and we can do things safely, together.

We don’t know the cause of death yet, but to speculate, I believe it was a heart attack. Please protect your health, please dive safely. Please take every opportunity to make sure you are healthy, and safe, and making the best decisions that you can possibly make at that moment.  The most informed decision.  Don’t just be healthy to dive, be healthy to live.  Be thankful to wake up in the morning with a strong and full heart.

I take a premeditated risk every time I dive.  I also take a premeditated risk every time I drive my car, or even cross a street.  I take a premeditated risk every time I get on a plane.  Life would be less full without these calculated risks.  Not because I am a risk taker, but because to live a guarded life would be to live a life without passion and exploration.  We take a calculated risk every time we fall in love, as well.  Or have children.  Adopt a pet.  These are the risks I take, with my eyes and my heart open.