The panic was creeping on me little by little. I was breathing through my mouth, as told, but the water was going from above my eyes back to under my neck and back again and I would feel compelled to breathe through my nose every time my head was above the water.
This is how my first ever scuba dive experience began. Sheer panic, no matter how much I tried to control it: WHY CAN’T I BREATHE THROUGH MY NOSE? After all, in my 15 years of competitive sports (handball), all I was told and forced into was to breathe-in through my nose and breathe-out through my mouth.
Looking back to that first day of diving I can compare the feeling to that of building a startup. Its life is like a sinusoid, with ups and downs and feelings of drowning and terrifying panic for the person crazy enough to try and start one.
Fortunately, though, 10 minutes later you control your the breath, even if you swallow some Mediterranean salty water from time to time. And 25 minutes later you are really surprised that you need to go back to the boat, because the lesson it’s over (Oh, so soooooon???). Of course, this is just the beginning, because dangers are close by, you are just blissfully unaware of them.
And that’s how you feel for exactly 5 minutes in startups: you have everything under control. Yeah, right!
Still, I wouldn’t trade that panic for anything else. Or, frankly, I could live with less of it…