My boss has just returned from a winter break in Thailand. She spent four days in Bangkok before heading off for a spa retreat in Koh Tao for eight days.
Her vacation was spent lounging on white shores, swimming leisurely in crystal waters and being thoroughly pampered with daily massages, facials and body scrubs.
As my boss described her island escape, my regular type of getaway back in the day, I was surprised that I no longer yearned for this type of experience – that is until she mentioned she had been scuba diving most days, too.
Before I had Master A, I would regularly go on holidays where scuba diving was the main focus, having passed my Padi accredited diving course in the Florida Keys in my late 20s.
I had a passion for swimming with sharks.
When I listened to my boss describe the marine life she had seen, the underwater caverns and drop-offs she had explored, I felt a sudden pang of sadness.
I realised I probably will never scuba dive again. The very thought of taking part in a dive trip now gives me palpitations.
I’m scared – because I’m a mum, with a debt of responsibility to Master A.
Where once I would simply backward roll into the Big Blue, the only thoughts in my mind centred around the amazing experience of being underwater, weightless, and wondering what marine life I would encounter.
Now all I see are the risks attached to this extreme sport, the potentially life-threatening hazards.
The dangers from the effects of the increased water pressure, the dangers posed by sea life and the dangers of faulty equipment.
What if I was forced to ascend to the surface too quickly and suffered a pulmonary embolism? What if I was stung through the chest by a stingray and my lifeless body dragged ashore?
What if the dive operator gave me a defective regulator? Now, where’s the fun in that.
Working Mum, mourning a lost attitude and state of mind.