Did diving without fins make me a better diver?
Let me tell you a story about my wife’s legs.
In addition to being a nurse, a diver, the creator of the world’s best chili, and putting up with me, my wife is a professional equestrian. Just so there’s no confusion, we’re not talking about the kind of horseback stuff that you see at the county fair on a Friday night. This is the sort of horseback stuff that scares the living crap out of any reasonable person with half an instinct for self-preservation.
She jumps over things.
Well, SHE doesn’t jump over things: the horse jumps over stuff while she’s
sitting on his back.
We’re not talking about little things, either. No cute little foam blocks or other things that gently tip over if they don’t quite clear it. We’re talking about big stuff. Stuff that, if you hit it, it hits you back. Things like trees. Trucks. Dining room tables. The cast of the TV show ‘Lost’. You get the idea.
As you can see in the picture, those little loop thingies that her feet go into are sort of important. Especially when flying over stuff, 12 feet in the air. She got irate with me with I referred to them as “loop thingies”, so now I know that they’re called stirrups.
Anyway, my wife participates and promotes this equestrian thing called “No Stirrups November”. Those that choose to participate voluntarily give up the their stirrups for the month. As a result, they have to use nothing but their leg muscles to maintain their balance and posture while riding. Look at that picture again. Notice how she’s not sitting on the horse at all. Now do that without anything to put your feet on – all you can do is squeeze your legs together hard enough to keep from falling down.
By the end of the month, the riders that stick with the challenge have got to have some of the strongest thighs on the planet. I have no doubt that wifey will make it all the way to the 30th. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this. If I steal the remote control, the possibility of suffering a broken femur due to her flying-scissors takedown is very real.
At any rate, prior to this point has nothing to do with scuba diving.
Everything that follows, however, does.