Owen (age 11) with mom Amy in Kauai // © 2015 Amy Pentz
Feature image (above): The Pentz family relaxing on a Kauai beach // © 2015 Amy Pentz
This year, my husband, two children and I traveled to Kauai.The island teems with life, lush tropical plants, exotic animals and breathtaking waterfalls. I crossed a few items off my bucket list, including ziplining, paddleboarding and surfing. However, the most exhilarating moments came from an unexpected source.
My husband and children wanted to take a scuba lesson. Scuba diving was definitely not on my bucket list. The thought of breathing under 15 feet of water stirred in me the anxious, claustrophobic reflex that I get at the thought of being buried alive. But, not wanting to be a spoilsport, I agreed to join them. The days preceding that first dive were full of dread. In my overactive imagination, we all drowned in sneaky currents or were eaten by hungry sharks. When I finally waded into the water to strap on the scuba gear, my hands and legs were trembling. Fortunately, our instructor from Watersports Adventures was both patient and reassuring. Breathing underwater is definitely a strange experience but, after a few minutes, I relaxed and was 20 feet below the surface enjoying the feeling of weightlessness that divers relish. I felt like I was flying.
The lesson ended too quickly, and I was proud that I had done something that had so recently struck terror in my heart. It’s one thing to try what you have always dreamed of; it’s another to do the things you’ve always had nightmares about.