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How to overcome fear of lower depths?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by petu, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. petu

    petu Angel Fish

    This was what got me as well.

    My current plan is:

    Build a 6 week cardio/strength plan focused on swimming and endurance
    Practice all skills in slightly deeper than shallow end. Progress toward deeper and deeper waters as comfort improves. Test when feeling 100%.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone. I think community is critical to feeling good about diving.
    AfterDark likes this.
  2. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    You've gotten good advice here. Beyond becoming more relaxed as you get more underwater time, I'm thinking you will feel more confident as you get more cardiac fitness in general.

    My exercises were running ("jogging" as I get older ;-) bicycling, and some swimming. I think it's easier to "max out" aerobically on land than in water, meaning I can get a higher sustained pulse rate out of weight-bearing running, than non-weight-bearing swimming.

    Being more aerobically fit means your resting heart rate gets lower. Meaning your heart, which is basically a big muscle, is getting stronger and pumping more with each stroke, so it can pump slower for the same amount of oxygen you need. So, your breathing rate can go down some too, a big advantage in making your tank last longer (which in turn makes you calmer, which makes you even more efficient at air usage).

    I've also found after taking up yoga recently, that it also helps with breathing, and relaxation underwater. Don't know why, but it seems to.

    All this is longer-term stuff. You will get more comfortable diving pretty rapidly by just diving. Cardio fitness comes more slowly, but steadily, and will serve you well not only in diving but in life in general, whether wet or dry...
  3. UnkleBuk

    UnkleBuk Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Denver, CO
    We were just OW certified yesterday.

    My wife, Susan, had been stressing about having to remove her mask too. Our initial training was in a pool, with OW dives 1/2 in the downtown aquarium. She’s never liked having her head underwater, but she’s also the one that initiated the decision to get certified.

    Before we left for Cabo San Lucas for our vacation (sitting by the pool now), Susan had a 1-on-1 session with an instructor just to get more comfortable before dives 3/4 in the ocean. She was still stressing taking her mask off. I kept reassuring her she’d be fine, to take her time and start when she’s ready, gather herself, keep breathing normally through her regulator (she initially tried to take a breath through her nose in the pool by accident, which set this cog in motion), and not change how she’s breathing just because the mask is off. I must have repeated this multiple times leading up to the day of our ocean dives.

    OW dive 3 and it’s her turn to remove her mask. She took her time to gather herself (so much so the instructor gave her arm a nudge at one point), and then removed the mask, replaced it, cleared it, done and done!

    The way I thought about it for myself, though I wasn’t stressing much about it, is that I could still keep breathing no matter how long I had the mask off. And push coming to shove, we weren’t going to be so deep that I couldn’t get to the surface if I felt I needed to.

    After the dive, she said the long delay was due to trying to steady herself as we weren’t used to the push/pull of the ocean. It wasn’t much, enough to move us about 5 feet and then back the other way about the same distance. It took both of us a bit of time to just go with it instead of trying to stay planted in one spot.

    My own initial biggest issue was my BCD. I bought a Cressi Stiletto which I hadn’t used yet. I spent the 1st 10 minutes in the water yesterday fighting it to keep it from flipping me onto my back. So much so that I lost sight of the group (3 +instructor). So I surfaced and could see their bubbles on the surface nearby. The instructor surfaced and I told him what was happening. He moved my back weights into the front with the other weights....problem solved and I was able to chill and enjoy the rest of the dive.
    petu and Saniflush like this.

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