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Thursday, March 16, 2017

The First Drop!

Here it all begins ~ the first drop in an unknown sea of posts. In creating this blog, I have a lot of hopes and wishes for it, and I thank you so much for dipping your toes in.

Jewels Diver - CozumelMy name is Julie, but my family and friends have been calling me "Jewels" ever since I can remember. I had been recently certified to SCUBA dive when the internet was really beginning to change our world, and eventually we were all forced to tap in to our creative side and come up with an email address. I was lucky, mine was easy to come up with; jewelsdiver. It was Me. Actually, it still is; I am Jewels Diver on facebook and pretty much anywhere else you go on the internet.

I grew up in COlorado with the Rocky Mountains very close by. I have always been an aquatic person - learning to swim as a baby, starting on swim team at age 6, and my first job at 16 being a lifeguard and swim instructor. Since then, my professional career has always been intertwined with what I love to do and am passionate about. Among other jobs in the aquatics industry, I continued on to be a certified SCUBA instructor, water fitness instructor, and more recently freediving instructor and mermaid trainer.
freedivingI must say freediving and mermaiding are my favorite water sports now, but don't tell swimming or SCUBA ;) After my first course, my freediving experience went straight to the competitive arena in 2006. One of the highlights of my competitive freediving career is being a (former) US record holder for a freedive without fins to 44 meters (145 feet). I was also honored to represent the USA at various international competitions including the 2008 Team World Championship. The women's team won a silver medal there, we came 2nd to the Russian team with Japan just behind for 3rd place. These days, I consider myself a retired competitive freediver. I find the joys of mermaid training, and swim & freediving instruction much more rewarding. My focus now is on education for all ages, and especially empowering other females in a male-dominant dive industry.
Aquatic activities have always been a part of my life on a personal, competitive, or professional level. I feel very fortunate and lucky that it is still my way of life today. I live one block from the Caribbean Sea and I wouldn't have it any other way ~ well, maybe actually a place ON the beach would be nice ;)  I LOVE to get back to the mountains in the summer or winter, I definitely enjoy the rolling hills and plains of the midwest, and even enjoy the desert in the appropriate season. But I know I will always live where there is water ~ of the crystal clear caribbean-type to be exact.

At the end of the day, maybe my island lifestyle, outlook on life, and chosen profession are all just a way to indulge in my own desire to be on vacation ~ a permanent vacation! :) But I am certain that it all means more than that...I know that I am where I'm supposed to be. A freediving mermaid is Who I Am.
Thanks so much for diving in to these aquatic adventures with me!

Smile, Breathe, Get Aquatic!