My major accomplishment

By: Jana Huebner, high school alumna High School Dive + Sail , Middle School, Scuba Diving, Sailing

I was scared of water. Not to the point where I’d scream and cry but I couldn’t ever get into open water by myself. I always thought something would swim up and eat me. Also I was scared of the dark; the whole childhood monster in the closet and under the bed, yeah, totally me.

When people think of “major accomplishments” most people think of becoming the president of the United States, climbing Mt. Everest, or discovering a cure for cancer, but not me. My major accomplishment happened in the summer of 2007; I was sixteen years old.

I went on a summer camp down in the Leeward Islands to learn how to sail and scuba dive with a program called Broadreach. Usually these trips are full of memories but this trip in general made a lasting impact on my life. In order to get an advanced open water certification I had to do the one thing that would kill me in a heart beat, a night dive. I remember that night like it was yesterday. Elliot, our dive master, told us to set up our gear to get ready for the dive. I was so nervous. My hands were shaking and my heart was beating out of my chest. I ran around the boat giving everyone a hug and letting them know how much I loved them and how I had such a good time with them on the trip. I was convinced I was going to die. The boat ride to the dive site seemed like hours. The sun had just set so the light was slowly diminishing. My legs shook. We did our usual routines and started our decent. I grabbed my buddy’s hand as if I were having a baby. Let me remind you, your eyes are only as big as the spotlight on your flashlight. Everyone else was calm and held their flashlight still but mine was going crazy, waiting to see the huge shark about to eat me. After a couple of minutes my muscles were too tired to shake anymore and I started to calm down. Elliot signs the signal to sit on the ocean floor. I sat. I watch him intently. His hands covered his flashlight so there was no light showing, he signals for the rest of us to do the same. My eyes flare. I shake my head, NO! Light was my only way to see. One by one the flashlights clicked off. Mine was the only one left on. He signs me the signal again. I squeeze my buddy’s hand. My finger unwillingly, clicked the light off. Darkness.

The lights click back on. I’m still alive!!! I breathe for the first time again.

We got back on the boat with everyone smiling and laughing about the dive. I was screaming. I had faced my stared my fears in the eyes and totally won!

Now, when I’m faced with a challenge like my first rollercoaster, a super hard test, or a tough volleyball game, I just think; I survived a night dive, I can do anything!