Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The bonus track

Mick in the UK E-mailed me to say I should post this. It's a bonus track I sent to him and Paul a bit of background to the previous story. He says you guys will be interested to read it. So don't blame me. I tend to write to people who comment and give them the background. But Mick said I ought to share this one. So read on................

You know what I loved being a diver? It's that I was surrounded by people who wanted to push the envelope. Go that extra mile. I can't do it anymore for two reasons. 1. My little brother died in a diving incident, he was trying to save his best friends life. AND 2. I have kidney disease and the weight of the kit kills me. It's bloody heavy.

But I don't regret one minute of my diving experience. It was great. The people I dived with were 100% up for it. They wanted that edge, That moment of living on the edge of danger. I wanted it too. It's not like joining a Sunday league football club or joining the crib team at your local pub. It's more than that. We were putting our lives on the line every week. Things could go wrong and they did. But our training (strict training) got us out of the difficulties. I loved those guys (and girls). You are taught not to panic. Panic is the route to disaster. You have to give yourself time to think things through even when it seems all is lost. Because it would be definitely if you panicked. It's a sort of discipline that you can use in your everyday life. Don't panic! There is always an escape route.

We were also taught to trust your buddies. It's difficult at first but when disaster strikes you have only yourself and your buddy to rely on. That's when you find another level in friendship. When someone saves your life. Because you've made a mistake. When you've saved someone else because they've made a mistake. I don't think I've been closer to anyone than the guys I've risked my life with. I knew I could rely on them and they on me. None of us panicked. It's a dangerous game diving. If you obey the rules it's safe. But as my story told, sometimes things can go wrong. I was careless. Unforgivably careless. Yes I was lucky. But then I had the confidence in my buddy to not panic because he was right next to me until ten metres from the surface when we seperated. I had the option of buddy breathing. He let me go up and he stayed for the decompression stop. It was pointless us both getting bent. Ten metres to the surface was less than a minute.

I had a choice try to stay down and decompress. Or just go for it. I chose to go for it. Really it wasn't a choice at all. I had almost no air left, even in the emergency tank. It makes you realise how good life is. To be on the edge. It's great. Absolutely mad but great.

Get that with the Sunday league team. I don't think so.

iPod now playing - I don't want to go to Chelsea by Elvis Costello


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