So as you know next month I’ll be travelling to the Phillipines, but as I’ve been trying to prepare and get ready I’ve come across some hurdles and harsh realisations over the past couple of months, the main one was possibly not being physically strong enough to make it through everything, but I’ve been determined to change this, I need too.
Health-wise, the last couple of months haven’t been my best; my weight and appetite dropped, effecting me physically and mentally, as well as getting in the way of work and my social life, such as having to leave wherever I am due to feeling weak. 4 months ago I could swim 30-35 lengths relatively easy, a month ago I was tired after 16 but I am slowly improving and I aim to get back up to 30-40 before I go.
My boyfriend said I can be lazy (which I agree with) and my dad has been worried about my strength, how I’ll need to be strong, and even about if I’ll go or not. Mums had the same worries and sometimes it’s been hard to make them believe me that my heart is in it, although I can see where they’re coming from; I’ll need to be able carry 12-15kg (of tank) on my back, swim 500m, drag people heavier than me, do minimum 2 dives a day and so much more. That’s not even including the 30-35kg of luggage I’ll have as well. So yes, even though it’s hard for me to hear I do understand.
Since this realisation I’ve been working on these things to make a positive change to my body. I know I only have a few weeks left now, but I need to do this for me and I have been. I’ve started swimming more again, whether it’s on a day off or after work, I aim to do a minimum of 50 lengths a week, but I will also keep pushing myself (this did flop last week and a half as I’ve had the flu). I’ve started to use arm weights too, doing a minimum of 30 curls a day with 2.5kg weights, giving me more lean muscle than bulky. So I’m hoping these things, as well as sorting out my diet, will help me build up strength, weight and stamina by the time I go. I have already noticed a difference but really need to push myself more over the next 2 weeks.
However, it’s not just my health I have to prepare before I go. I’ve never been to the Phillipines so I need to do a lot of research, planning and learning about the area I’ll be staying in and about the dive courses I’ll be taking part in (I have to do exams and I hate exams, may as well get learning early!). Mum has been amazing with helping me plan some adventures, some of which we will be doing together with dad and I cant wait for that. Swimming with sharks (Whale and Thresher), visiting Kawasan Falls and visiting Bohol are definitely going to be highlights and I can’t wait to share other posts and photos with you guys while exploring these beautiful places.
My diving research mostly consists of going over previous course books, (re)learning as much as I can before starting Divemaster. I’ve also been watching a lot of technique videos and doing a lot of research about the courses so I know (mostly) what I’m in for. While researching I’ve noticed that I need to know and remember LOADS of hand signals, so I invested in the Scuba Diving Hand Signals book by Lars Behnke, which is unbelievably helpful. Here are some of my favourite’s I’ve learnt so far:
top left to bottom right: Shark, Hammerhead Shark, Love, Seahorse, Rabbitfish, White Shark.
It has been a tough few months trying to sort myself out and will continue to be physically demanding, but it will all be worth it in the end 🙂
“If I can’t scuba then what’s this all been about, What have I been working towards?” – Creed Bratton