|Deep water soloing in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam|
In the darkness under water, my mind raced through what I knew to be the worst cases for deep water solo injuries. Broken back? Ribs? Lung collapse? I need to be able swim or I'm done. Don't gasp. Wait.
When my face cleared the salty water I heard an animal's drawn-out bray escape my clenched torso. Did the trauma knock me into some base survival mode? Maybe this is the wind knocked out of me like back when I was a kid. Fitting that I should sound like a jackass.
Amid the stinging numbness from my backside, the nauseating ache from my organs, and the almost-popped feeling from my lungs, I found that I could tread water just fine. That's a good sign. Really good.
The sound of my back slapping the water had attracted the attention of our basket boat around the corner. Do I get them to come fast, do I need to be saved? Or do I let them come slowly while I regain my dignity?
I tried to look nonchalant and assured myself that I was indeed treading water with no problem. If I can do the heel hook and mantle to get onto the boat I'm going to be fine.
|Toenails stained a lovely orange from my climbing slippers.|