Swimming with dolphins had long been on my bucket list so when that fateful day arrived I could hardly contain my excitement. At the time, our family was vacationing in the Florida Keys, a favorite destination of ours despite living in Florida. My husband seized the opportunity for me to interact with the dolphins knowing that the environment in which we were in was the perfect place to experience it.
When we arrived at the sanctuary, I was paired with a small group of people, two dolphins, a mask, flippers and a set of instructions. The dolphins, a mother daughter duo seemed to know their jobs as the trainers put them through their paces with their human counterparts. I was in absolute heaven. Soon the moment arrived in which I would swim one on one with the younger of the two dolphins. According to the trainers, “Crystal” was just learning this part of the program. As the trainers gave me specific instructions on how to swim next to the young female, wanting to be prepared, I inquired, “Will she bump me wanting to play?” The trainers responded with a firm no.
So off we went. As I took my first breath to slide underwater next to this magnificent creature, her eye looking directly into mine, she gave me a hard, playful bump. I surfaced to the audible gasp of the trainer and the laughs of my husband. My husband and I exchanged looks. He knew exactly what I did. This dolphin had just picked up what I had asked the trainers. Loving that I had established this connection, I dove deep into the water, rolling, twisting, and turning, only to be mimicked every step of the way. I felt like I could do this forever. As our time came to a close, the trainer commented on our connection. One I will keep close to my heart forever.