Emergency diving, cell phone woes, and a new gym

by Rob Tiller

With almost a hundred logged dives under my belt, I’ve decided it’s time to improve my emergency and first aid skills. This is not to suggest that scuba is particularly hazardous, which ordinarily it’s not. But as with any human activity, accidents will happen. Understanding common accident scenarios is a great way to minimize risks. Plus, it would be a great thing to help a person out of a crisis — and a terrible thing to watch a serious accident unfold where help might make a difference, but be unable to help. I’ve signed up to take the PADI rescue diver course next month, and I’ve begun working my way through the materials.

There are a lot of risks we can’t do much about as individuals, including technology failure. It’s scary how dependent I am on my digital devices, though it isn’t usually noticeable. The dependency came into focus quickly for me this week, when my cell phone inexplicably quit working.

It turned out that it was not simple or stress free to get help from AT&T. I spent more time than I wanted scrutinizing their website, and couldn’t find a service phone number. I tried their online “chat” service, which took 10 minutes to get connected and 10 minutes to get questioned, after which I was disconnected as “timed out.” The next day at lunch time I drove over to the place where I’d bought the phone, only to find they’d closed the store. Since I didn’t have a cell service, I couldn’t find another store that day.

Yesterday I drove to the closest mall with an AT&T store (Crabtree), where there was one dude tending the sales kiosk. Fortunately, he figured out how to fix the thing. He asked me how my day was going, and I told him he’d made it a lot better.

After I got cell phone fixed, I went to check out the local YMCA. Since my neighborhood gym closed, I’ve been in a state of mild gym withdrawal. Sally’s tennis pro suggested she check out the downtown Y, and she delegated the task to me. It’s good! They’ve got an adequate collection of weight machines, aerobic machines, and spaces to do exercise classes. There’s a swimming pool. What was distinctive was the staff — they were unbelievably friendly! I signed up with enthusiasm, and then did my first Y workout: an upper body circuit, forty vigorous minutes on the elliptical machine listening to Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutti, and some yoga stretching.