Diving In

Sorry folks, for all of you now spoiled by outstanding guest posts: the Crab is back from vacation.

And yes, this means yet another self-indulgent photo-packed ramble!  Expect the usual miscellaneous musings, tiresome tips, blog-related blather, annoying alliteration and ridiculous rationalizations, all dressed up and masquerading as post about health and fitness. Complete with a Theme That Doesn't Always Fit the Contents!

D'ja miss me?

Oh.  Okay. Well, anyway, let's Dive In!

Leap of Faith

First off, it felt weird for me to stay away from blogging the entire time, though I can't claim I was totally offline. I did sneak in to read comments.  But wow, it was a great experiment in Trust as well as Gratitude because I was totally blown away by the awesome guest posts, thoughtful and amusing comments, compassionate and clever replies, and enlightening interchanges.  Gaye and "Shadowduck" and Cranky Fitness readers rock!!!

So next time I am the least bit nervous about wandering off from the blog and letting others run the show I plan to remember...

Everything runs A-OK without Crabby McSlacker, thank goodness!

Diving In: The Part That's Actually about Fitness and Personal Growth

Time-Saving Short Version:  Crabby was afraid to go snorkeling.  Crabby went anyway.  It was awesome. She is glad she went. If you are afraid of something, you may want to try this too!

Long-Ass Version Complete with Illustrative Photos:

Thinking of Diving In to Something New?

If you are striving to lead a healthy and active life, you may come across opportunities that you suspect might be fun and good for you, yet could seem a bit scary at first.

Perhaps it's a Zumba class, or a 30 day pledge to go sugar-free, or an ultramarathon. Or a new-agey clothing optional Couples Communication Workshop held in a remote wilderness retreat.  In other words: some activity that might benefit you, but also might come with some risk of unpleasantness, whether it be humiliation or failure or heatstroke or a sad combination of divorce and poison ivy.

You could say "no" and be safe! Or you could say "yes" and challenge yourself a bit.

Personally, I've spend most of my life a perfectly contented party-pooper, and I still think a cautious approach to scary things is a perfectly legitimate lifestyle choice.

On the other hand, sometimes you know you are exaggerating risks and being a big baby and that you will feel like a wuss if you miss out on something potentially awesome.  In that case: not a bad idea to suck it up and give it a shot.

How Crabby Managed to "Dive In" and go snorkeling in 4 Simple Steps:

Step 1: Do a Reality Check On Fears.

OK, so yeah that's a shark we saw which is probably not even visible unless you click on the picture.  It seems unlikely it's the bitey kind of shark, and weirdly enough, I wasn't particularly afraid of sharks.

Or eels for that matter.

This is what I was afraid of:

1.  The ocean is made up of water which you can not inhale and breathe the way you can with nice ol' air.  Breathing water instead of air is not recommended.

OK, so some might disagree.

2.  The ocean contains WAVES that could engulf a person and drown them, and perhaps even pound and smash that person atop a lovely but lethal coral reef and turn them into hamburger meat.

3.  Oceans are COLD at first, even in warm places like Hawaii (despite what liars say about it being like bathwater, or maybe they are not liars but people who take freezing-ass cold baths).  Anyway, however warm it may eventually feel even Hawaii water tends to feel, to this warm-blooded mammal, icy and excruciating for a few seconds on initial contact.

Upon exploration of these fears I came to the conclusion that... I was being an idiot.

In my mind, the fact that 50 foot waves can be dangerous to surfers meant that 1 foot waves would be just as dangerous to someone only 1/50 as comfortable in the ocean as a surfer. I was reassured by those wiser than myself that the math doesn't work that way.

And while I knew I would be absolutely miserable for the first two or three seconds of every aquatic adventure, I was pretty sure I would thereafter be fine, and not simply cease to breathe forever after due to the shock of cold water.

Hint: a line of people behind you can help with the whole "wait and fret" issue, providing motivation to just get the f--ck in the water.

Step 2:  Seek Support and Encouragement, and if Possible, Bring Brave Companions along!

And yes, this is the point during every blog post where I get tired of yammering so let's just go with straight to the pictures that include supportive wife and friends, shall we?

Step 3: Don't Forget to Enjoy the View!

Or whatever else the "fun" part is. I found myself a couple of times so focused on getting to the next reef and trying to impersonate a "real" snorkeler, that I'd temporarily forget to really relax and savor the lovely stuff beneath me.

4.  Step 4: Keep it Up!

By the end of the trip I was the one suggesting snorkeling all the time, and each time I enjoyed it more than the last. Turns out, the beaches right across the street from our condo offered more amazing tropical fish and giant sea turtles than the fancy-pants and totally crowded Molokini excursion. Plus, without the crowds they felt like our own personal fish and turtles.

And sure, I dreaded and hated getting into the cold water EVERY SINGLE time, but it was totally worth it.

Now for the Bloggy Part of 'Diving In...."

Warning:  A Bunch of  Posts Ahead in the Next Week or So, Some of Which May Feature Products or Services!

In a spectacular example of ridiculously bad post-vacation planning, I seem to have promised quite a few posts by early May which have not yet been written.  Whoops!

So as much as I'd like to ease back into the blog and write only thoughtful and entertaining blog posts, (wait, I never have before, why do I think I'm going to start now?) instead I'll be Diving In with as much grace as... well, lets say a D-list celebrity seeking high diving reality show fame and belly flopping themselves into a hospital stay.

I'll be doing my best to multi-task and slip in the rest of our vacation pictures into these posts (lucky readers!) and I apologize in advance for this period of "paying the piper" in return for a rather greedy recent spree of free-sample-grabbing and sponsorship-scrounging. Normal Cranky Fitness operations will resume shortly and I appreciate your patience!

Has anyone else conquered a fitness-related fear, whether silly like mine or totally legit?  What helped?

(Photos mostly by the Lobster and our pal Katie).

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