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Monday, August 20, 2012

Finding Inspiration at Sea

Editor's note: I am pleased to join the Write Now Project as one of its contributors. To celebrate Shark Week 2012, read some of my very first essay on SCUBA & Project Pink'd, Inc. below:

All of us need inspiration in our daily lives, when you’re an athlete it is even more important. At the 2012 Olympics, the world has seen the fury of Olympic gold-medal swimmer Missy Franklin, who is also a resident of Colorado. She has been able to channel inspiration from a town where she trains and a movie theatre she has frequented in Aurora, Colo., the site of the recent Aurora movie theatre tragedy.

I am no different. I am by no means an Olympic athlete but this May I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a new recreational sport. Similar to Missy, I was not alone in my endeavor. With my husband at my side and miles away from the states, I was channeling inspiration from a dear friend and breast cancer survivor, Cynthia Sturgeon.

Sporting a Pink'd hat in Jamaica.
My husband and I usually don’t exchange birthday gifts; however, he had a significant birthday coming up and I told him I’d buy him something. He thought on the proposition and told me he wanted to learn SCUBA diving. Not too surprising; since one of Brian’s best friends, Mark “Skippy” Sidwell, is a SCUBA instructor at DiVentures in Omaha.

I discussed his gift with one of my best friends and it was decided I would take lessons with him. I’m not a swimmer. All the sports I’ve ever excelled in were on the land. This is really out of my comfort zone. As I thought, Brian took to SCUBA quickly. He was on the swim and dive team in junior high.

I had several mishaps in class at DiVentures. First time in the pool under water I flashed the wrong sign making everyone from class have to surface. It was so embarrassing – I now know the “okay” sign versus the “to surface” signal. Also, I had issues equalizing my ears and contracted a sinus infection. Something you’ll learn quickly is not to dive if having any allergy or sinus related issues. I got medicine and bought vented earplugs from DiVentures, which I highly recommend. Finally, we passed our written test and would now be tested on our water disciplines. We were at the second to last discipline when I got a cramp in my leg. I surfaced with Skippy and he told me to hang out on the side of the pool. I worked the cramp out and in a solo check out session with Skippy passed.

I knew that night, I’d have to dig a little deeper to make it through my open water check out dives in Montego Bay, Jamaica. So, I thought of Cynthia. She is the founder of Project Pink’d, Inc. The day before leaving for Jamaica, all of us board members met and signed papers committing to serve on the Project Pink’d, Inc. board of directors. Cynthia, our founder, was also present. Immediately after, I watched Cynthia’s video on YouTube of her tandem sky diving adventure to celebrate being four years of cancer-free living. Watching her hold up those four fingers, I was truly inspired by her enthusiasm and spirit.

While in Jamaica, Brian and I did a total of seven open water dives at different dive sites with the Ocheana crew of Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay.

What happened next? Continue reading my essay on “Finding Inspiration at Sea” at Write Now, an online publication produced by

- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown 
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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  1. Hi Becky! I love your blog!!! I am so excited with with your new activities.. Keep that bucket list full!!! I know the Browns are busy!!! I am so happy for you two!!!Rosemary Walton, your UA Friend in Ohio

  2. Hey Rosemary: Thanks so much. SCUBA is quite the bucket list activity indeed. Appreciate you stopping by for a visit at our blog. Your UA friends from Omaha, The Browns.