A Model’s Unfiltered Thoughts on Agencies

Photo by Annika Forslund

I’ve been quarreling with myself on this topic for months now. I have provided you with plenty of info on modeling agencies in the past. However, I feel there is a missing element. Bias. Today I will impart my bias in regards to the topic of agencies. Today I will open up.

While I have not had a horrendous experience with agencies, like some, it has not been particularly pleasant either. Often, agencies have felt very intimidating, even bully-like.

A model is hardly ever allowed to be herself. She is scrutinized in detail. She is never good enough, always expected to fill in this role of the unattainable. As a society, our beauty standards are warped. They are unrealistic. Yet, young girls are expected to conform. This is what it feels like to be a model. Moldable.

At age 15, I was told I had too much baby fat. My legs have been called doughy. Some people have told me I can’t “make it” due to my size. That I have to conform. I have been pressured and harassed about my skin, urged to see a dermatologist I couldn’t afford, for a problem that was occurring because of my genes, and because I was unhealthy. Being with an agency has always been a stressful experience for me. I was always pressured one way or another, bullied strategically, bossed around, and strung along waiting for my paychecks.

This is my bias. And the experience is not too different from those girls around me.

Girls. We are women, young women. Yet, why do I keep calling all models girls? It is because even I feel diminished as a model sometimes. We are girls. Young. To be manipulated. Some never grow up. Some never learn. Some girls grow up learning from this industry and are left wondering what is wrong.

Agencies not paying their models has become a norm. Clients paying months after a job. Sexual harassment on jobs, and bullying. How can they get away with this?

For one, the industry remains wildly unregulated. On the other hand: we let them. A year ago, I decided I no longer wanted to be taken advantage of by a shady company with only their own interests in mind.

Unfortunately, a model can’t advance her career much without an agency.

To be fair, I have had a lot of exciting moments with my agencies. I have been in Mercedes-Benz fashion week. I have booked huge, lucrative photo shoots. I have been given the chance to book career-changing campaigns. I have been in Anna Wintour’s office building. There are always the plus sides. I often found myself in exciting jobs and opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten without an agency.

Without having been with the agencies I have been with, I wouldn’t be where I am as a model today. My portfolio is strong. My experience is strong. From the platform of being signed with an agency, I have been given the opportunity to expand and grow, not only as a model, but as a woman.

Here’s the thing. We can change this. Together. The fashion industry doesn’t have to be a harsh reality, but a positive environment.

My experiences in the fashion industry have pushed me to create a revolution. I want to promote positive change and health. Poor, low quality living is generally secretly applauded by many industry peers. Young girls loosing too much weight is celebrated! This helps perpetuate and encourage eating disorders among young girls across the globe.

So I need your help. Soon, I will be launching a crowd-funding campaign for We Speak, the agency of the future. I’m creating a healthy branding system for retail and fashion brands to use to encourage healthy living, and healthy women.

If you help fund and promote this mission, you are contributing your piece of a huge undertaking and fashion revolution. The industry has made small movements to a more positive industry, yet the experiences detailed above are still very much alive. Are you ready to roar?


Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:
Founder of We Speak
(917) 274-7324

P.S. We are on the lookout for experienced, healthy models in NYC! Email briaunamariah@gmail.com for submissions (our email system and site is currently undergoing construction!)

Dear Evologie

Dear Evologie,

I may have had my doubts about you in the beginning, but I was under a lot of stress and the quality of my skin not so great. Our relationship started out a bit rocky when we first met. I didn’t give you the full chance you deserved.

So I decided to try you out again, twice a day, every day, and be diligent about it. I am glad for my decision. I have less stress in my life, and less dairy in my diet (hormones), but I still get breakouts around “that time of the month.”

As soon as I persisted with my daily routine, so did you.  I know you are working hard to keep acne from surfacing and I feel so secure in our new routine.

Thank you Evologie for making the surface of my skin glow and stay smooth! And for making the stressful hormonal breakouts less intense, and for being gentle on my sensitive skin. I am happier in life and have less variables. With you, I have been able to find my balance.

I can purse my careers freely, without added worries of my professional appearance as a healthy model. Life is less stressful, with you in my life.


Briauna Mariah (:

Briauna Mariah’s Skin and Makeup Regimin

I don’t claim to have the best skin. It’s not the most flawless nor glowing, but it’s real. I have real ups and downs. Days of good looking skin not necessarily outweighing the days of broken-out skin. I have learned that the current state of my skin fluctuates with the seasons (I think), and it can get pretty bad. But there are some preventative measures I’ve been experimenting with and routines I do in order to ensure a nice face in the morning.

I take showers in the morning, so I wash my face the most thoroughly in the mornings. The product that I’ve taken a liking to is Evologie face wash. It’s specifically for acne, and I know it’s taking good care of my skin. This face wash makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my face and leaves my skin feeling fresh and the bottle lasts a good few months. I also really like Evologie’s other products, their blemish serum, and face cream (I like them too much… because I keep using them up!). I’ve mentioned them in a previous post…. These products are good for essential skin hydration and extracting deep-seated acne.

I exfoliate sometimes. Honestly, I should exfoliate more often! I’d say a healthy amount to exfoliate is once or twice per week. Of course, you don’t want to over do it.

If I feel like hydrating my skin (especially because of how harsh I’m realizing winter is on my face), I will use a simple hydrating cream. Right now, what I have on hand is plain Ponds moisturizer as well as an aloe-based moisturizer called Infinite Aloe. This moisturizer feels great, doesn’t leave residue, and has similar ingredients to Nerium, which I will mention for my nightly routine (really good for redness).

Some other tips…. Throughout the rest of the day, I try to drink water as often as possible! Water is very cleansing and very nourishing for your body in general, which is a given! Humans obviously can’t live without water. But pure hydrating water does great things for your skin.

Ever hear of the phrase, “you are what you eat”? Well this is true too! I find that the better my diet is, the better my skin is!  Stay away from dairy, foods that spike your blood sugar, and gluten (wheat and dairy in general are bad. Read why here! I’m slowly trying to eliminate these from my own health-conscious diet.). Personally, I try to keep to mainly veggies, supplemented by protein (nuts, legumes, wheat-less grains, healthy fats, etc).

I find that my skin gets worse and stays that way if I mess with it. I feel like a key component to keeping my skin fresh and clear is, even if I have a blemish, to treat my skin with my products and to not touch/mess with it otherwise. On the days I do have a breakout and I really need to clear my skin, I will take an anti-biotic, which really seems to help. But I try not to rely on those. Stay away from antibiotics, as they could cause more problems than they solve.

I also feel that sweating a lot in the gym 4-5 times a week give me an extra edge on skin care. Whenever I sweat, I feel like that water is working alongside my workout to expedite clearing out the crud beneath the surface. I don’t think sweat on your skin is very good though, so make sure to shower/wash afterwards!

So, basically, on days that I’m home for most of the day and I don’t even need to put any makeup on, I’m set in terms of nightly skincare. For the most part.

On other days that have required me to put on makeup, especially after photoshoots with lot’s of cake-y makeup residue, I wash my face with the Evologie face wash again and wipe everything clean with a soft cloth (hey, there’s my exfoliation, right there!). I don’t bother with moisturizer again. I know my skin and it generally leans toward the oily side (especially in the summer). What my skin needs at this point in the day is to breathe. Makeup clogs pores, so avoid makeup where you can.

Before I go to bed, if I have any redness, or need to look fresh in the morning, I apply my Nerium night cream. Nerium is actually an anti-aging product, but does wonders for your skin. It’s basically like a freshening night mask that makes your skin younger, and helps reduce redness by repairing your skin cells and it is an antioxidant.

I don’t usually wear makeup. Actually, I avoid wearing makeup. In a general sense, I have skin that I feel confident in, even with a blemish or two, and I would rather be all-naturale than waste money on expensive product and worsen my skin by trying to cover up the problem. Besides, when you DO put on a face of makeup, it just makes you that much more impressive to your friends!

When it is required of me to wear makeup for my job as a model (either to cover up blemishes, even out complexion, or highlight my features), I like to keep it simple and down to the products I have available to me.

I’ve been using this wonderful NARS tinted moisturizer for the base of my makeup and it really helps even out my skin tone. Many days, I will just use this moisturizer. Other days, I will use a concealer lightly underneath my eyes (usually I have some darkness there), and directly on major blemishes. I blend that out, apply some nice matching powder, put on mascara, and usually call it good! If I’m feeling like the occasion calls for a natural eye shadow, I will go that route, but as far as foundation, that’s about all I apply. Simple, natural, and pretty.

After I do all these things on a daily basis, let my skin breathe and heal on it’s own, my skin remains in a relatively healthy state with no breakouts! Now, if I stick with this exact routine, diet, and lifestyle through til next winter, that will be the real test! I’ve noticed my bad breakouts happen with the NYC cold weather.

The real secret is just beginning to understand what your skin is like, how it behaves, what it needs, and what it doesn’t need. Apply these things to YOUR skin consistently, and you should begin to have a confident, glow-y face!

You have nothing to lose!

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:

10 Reasons to Hire a Holistic Health Coach

In a world of diets and dietitians full of different opinions and solutions–that may or may not be giving conflicting messages–Jaison Greene, CHC, AADP, certified holistic coach, and member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, takes what I believe to be a unique approach to nutrition.

I came up with the idea to find and interview a dietician through the desire to spread knowledge of health to my peers as I travel my own path to healthful knowledge. I found a true gem in Jaison and would recommend him to anyone, after only just one meeting. One piece of news is that he actually prefers virtual consultation due to ease, as well as the comfort his clients find there. So, you don’t need to be in New York if you’re seeking someone of Jaison’s level of expertise!

Jaison and I chatted for a good hour and I learned about many topics from orthorexia to detox cleanses to how blood type can present health challenges. I had no idea blood type played a role in diet! I didn’t even know my blood type.

I learned about these things and the one thing that stood out the most was how put together Jaison seemed. Jaison started his journey to healthy living in his early thirties, driven by his mother and sister, who had both been diagnosed with breast cancer. After realizing the power of healthy eating and biannual detox cleanses, he read up, studied, and earned his credentials. Now he is a certified holistic health coach.

The other notable thing that stood out to me was the way Jaison approaches his profession. He focuses on healthy LIVING. Not diets. Not fads. He focuses on YOU and your uniqueness, all the way down to your particular work environment.

My journey to healthful living has been rough, as my career relies on a slim body, and I’ve seen the damage it does firsthand. Continually striving for a skinnier and skinnier body is not a way of living for anyone. But developing a healthy lifestyle can be very rewarding and can give you just what you need, for anyone, no matter what your lifestyle demands.

What is a holistic health coach?

As a holistic health coach, Jaison Greene doesn’t not focus merely on diet. He analyzes many lifestyle factors into your overall health. So the term “dietician” is not really fair, because he is more that just a dietician. He focuses on two food sources: Primary foods and Secondary foods. Secondary is what you eat. Primary is what nourishes you. This includes in terms of relationships, spirituality, and physical activity.

So, if you’re looking to drop a quick few pounds (which I’ve been there, I do not suggest this route at all!), you’re in the wrong place. If you are looking for balance and healthiness, but you need a little nudging and encouragement along the way, you’re in the right place!

10 Reasons to Hire a Holistic Health Coach

  1. They are more encompassing than regular dietitians. 
    As mentioned before, a holistic health coach is more than a dietitian. One realization I would love everyone to consider is your health is not just diet and food, it is your lifestyle and all the factors that surround you. Everything you do and feel, every one of your interactions, make a play on your health.
  2. The approach is unique and modern.
    This is a much more innovative way to tackle your health and lifestyle, by looking at primary and secondary “foods.” In hiring a holistic health coach, you are conveying your commitment to yourself and your desire to attain the next level of health.
  3. They help you attain your goals.
    Through helping you discover the root of your issues, a coach will help you accomplish your goals and more.
  4. You will have more insight on how your relationships play into your health.
    Are you in a bad relationship with those around you? Is your work depleting your energy? These are some things you may not be thinking about fixing. You may not realize how interconnected everything is.
  5. Even “healthy” people may still be unhappy and may not fully understand how their actions affect their bodies.
    Are you orthorexic (too strict with what foods you eat and critical of everyone else’s food, too)? Too lenient? Are you making healthy changes for what is right for you? Do you even know what foods are right for you? Maybe, maybe not. But one or more of these unanswered questions might be keeping you stuck and unhappy where you are now.
  6. You will have support to keep you on track.
    Don’t get me wrong, you have to do the work. You will discover things about yourself. However, you’ll have support, positive reinforcement, and guidance along the way.
  7. No one knows everything.
    Even just one consultation will be a beneficial learning experience. I learned much more than I thought I would. And some of the knowledge was completely unexpected.
  8. Your questions and concerns will be answered.
    It’s a different approach to health, but concerns such as weight loss, what to be eating, etc, will be addressed.
  9. The help you are getting is personalized.
    Each session is completely different than the next. While dietitians can advocate for one diet or another, this will be customized to fit your needs and match to the lifestyle you already have in place.
  10. Avoid cancerous habits.
    As you address the root of your problems, overall health, and different habits, there are ways to incorporate ways of prevent cancerous cells from growing. Merely diet and exercise may not be enough.

Jaison Green may be contacted for a free consultation at jaison@cleanfunliving.com
I recently met with him a second time, and got some answers to some good health-related questions. If you’re not convinced now, you might be after a little Q&A!

Be Fierce!!
Briauna Mariah (:

Open Dive Scuba with KCD

**UPDATE: Unfortunately, KCD has gone out of business after a long, successful run in Brooklyn. While there are many other places to learn how to dive in NYC, it’s very sad to see Mia and her business close. I wish her all the luck & much success in the next chapter of her scuba diving career and everyone who was involved with KCD. Mia was kind enough to give me some really good deals with extra gear, so now I own my own wetsuit! Thank you for everything & the great experiences, Mia!**

This is perhaps the final recap of my scuba diving adventure. If you somehow landed on the page without reading the rest of the story, start here. Or to view the previous post, read my scuba lessons day 4! It seems like this is a story of how I came to equalize my ears. Each day at the pool equalizing became easier and easier and now, at the bottom of a lake at 40 feet I hardly had any problems at all! The most help of all came from my dive instructor, Mia, who helped me tackle my setback one step at a time.

Onto the next coolest thing. Mia, myself, and one other student, a very funny guy from Russia with some interesting things to say, hopped in a truck today and drove to Pennsylvania. Today is especially hard not to share my adventures with David especially since he thinks I’m working in New Jersey all day. Nonetheless, the adventures came out rather promising. During our final pool session two days ago, Mia made sure we were ready for open water and that we operated well at the bottom of the pool.

I’ll have to admit, the idea of the open water made me a bit nervous, but it has proven to be a lot more fun than I expected. This morning, over breakfast, Mia explained everything we would be doing for each dive for today. There would be no surprises. We briefed, pre-planned, and finally let the cold cold water slowly seep into our wet suits.

Once you get past the standard risk procedures, which is really the “meat and potatoes” of our dive lessons, it really is fun from there. We did a lot of review today, but with the added factor of deeper, colder, natural waters. Review such as removing our masks and clearing them of water, simulating running out of air, emergency ascents, and buoyancy–which isn’t so much an emergency skill, but a required skill one needs to master.

An interesting question came up from my mother as I explained some of today to her. Do you kick to go down or what? Which made me realize, even I didn’t know what a BC (buoyancy compensator) was before I started these lessons. It seems that it isn’t until you’re learning the ways of diving that scuba diving really makes sense and holes in your knowledge are filled. Let me give you an idea of how one of the most important skills in scuba, obtaining neutral buoyancy, works.

When you’re diving, you’ll be wearing some form of BC, which is inflated with air while you are on the surface, keeping you from sinking with your weights on. You need the weights to go down because you’ll be very buoyant with your wet suits and such, even with a heavy tank on your back. I needed 16 pounds on me just to be able to get down into the water!

Once you’ve let the air out of your BC and you begin to sink, something interesting happens. The more you descend, the faster you descend. This is because the air that is keeping you neutrally buoyant compresses, so you sink faster. The opposite is true when you ascend. You have to let expanding air out of the BC to prevent from shooting up too fast. The idea is a slow and steady descent as well as ascent.

There was quite a hilarious BC-related moment during one of my open dives. Mia was passing the responsibility on to us as students to ascend while watching our depth and to be able to control our safety stop. Knowing that air expands, once you get to your depth, you’re going to keep going unless you let air out.

During the ascent, I saw Mia stop and seemingly descend below me. In mid-water, movement is hard to differentiate. What was really happening was that I was still ascending. I remembered the BC in time, stopped for my safety stop, and realized my buddy was still going up, up and up. He forgot about letting air out and flailed his arms and legs trying to go down. The air in his BC continued to expand so he was helplessly buoyant, flailing all the way to the surface. It was a comical image. This is the same guy who cut in front of me somewhere around 30 feet, frantically pointing at a rather grey fish. He was so excited to see that fish that he decided to chase excitedly after it. Imagine a man in scuba gear pointing and swimming towards a fish he had no chance of catching. I tried not to die–literally–laughing.

After our dives, we stopped at a coffee shop and talked about what we could improve upon. The buoyancy is something I could improve upon for sure, and I look forward to it. Mia also pointed out we could have both improved upon our buddy system. And I couldn’t agree more. Buddies are extremely important in scuba diving. They provide security on many levels. I am very excited to work on diving with my unassuming buddy, my boyfriend, who happens to live in Monterrey, such a gorgeous beach with ample wildlife.
On that note, I will continue to ‘play dumb’ with him until Christmas, when I tell him his surprise!

As I mentioned before, I was nervous about my open water dives. But today I realized that I’m in this for a reason and that I’m going to love scuba diving more and more. I can attest to its addictive qualities.

I have a lot of thanks and appreciation for Mia and my new dive shop, KCD!

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:

Kings County Scuba Lessons: Day 4

**UPDATE: Unfortunately, KCD has gone out of business after a long, successful run in Brooklyn. While there are many other places to learn how to dive in NYC, it’s very sad to see Mia and her business close. I wish her all the luck & much success in the next chapter of her scuba diving career and everyone who was involved with KCD. Mia was kind enough to give me some really good deals with extra gear, so now I own my own wetsuit! Thank you for everything & the great experiences, Mia!**

7 Reasons Dive Shops are Totally Awesome

Today we went over many safety protocols under the water. I equalized my ears quicker than before, but going back down again was difficult. Next week, I should show even more improvement!

I’m actually having a lot of fun on these dive class nights. Walking into a dive shop is like walking into the antechamber of the underwater world. They give the tangible feeling of a fantasy world you know quite a bit about, but have never accessed and you realize that this fantasy world is going to be a lot more fantastical than you first imagined. And all the tools it takes to get there is displayed on every rack and wall in sight. I’ve always thought that scuba diving was relatively simple. Well, on some levels it is. But, there are many precautions, procedures, and techniques to remember. The amount of equipment required is beyond what my uninformed mind thought originally, and that makes this underwater world so much more special. When you scuba dive, you become a visitor, who, frankly, doesn’t really belong there! You’re a fish out of water, so to speak.

So, what makes dive shops so cool?

  1. The instructors there have seen so much more than you have. The stories you’ll hear are very entertaining.
    -They talk about underwater UFOS on a night dive that turned out to be a submarine
    -And they talk about ice diving. Carving a hole into a frozen lake to take a ‘quick dip.’
  2. They have all the pictures to prove it.
    -I have yet to be on an open water dive, but I guarantee you that the experience is a hundred times more amazing than the pictures.
  3. The instructors at Kings County Divers, are extremely fun and friendly.
  4. They carry basically any of your scuba/underwater needs.
    -Even cheap underwater cameras.
  5. You can learn a lot in a dive shop:
    -About what’s ‘current’ in the underwater realm. (Ha! Get that pun?)
    -What resorts to go to.
    -And that sharks really aren’t so dangerous.
  6. They have every scuba-related class you could think of. And, lastly,
  7. They usually stand out on their block, decked out in cool stuff. Nobody would think that there is a scuba shop in Brooklyn!

However, there is a scuba shop in Brooklyn–it’s waiting just for you and it’s a lot of fun! I anxiously look forward to my final dive class and then, the open water!

Scuba lessons day 3. (previous)
Scuba lessons day 5. (next)

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:

Kings County Scuba Lessons: Day 3

**UPDATE: Unfortunately, KCD has gone out of business after a long, successful run in Brooklyn. While there are many other places to learn how to dive in NYC, it’s very sad to see Mia and her business close. I wish her all the luck & much success in the next chapter of her scuba diving career and everyone who was involved with KCD. Mia was kind enough to give me some really good deals with extra gear, so now I own my own wetsuit! Thank you for everything & the great experiences, Mia!**

Honestly, today was make it or break it for me. Last week, I could not or did not know how to equalize my ears. Today, I spent much of my time practicing and slowly sinking down into… the pool bottom. *cue dramatic music*

I was worried my ears would not allow me to go deeper than five feet. But I can go on flights can’t I?? It took maybe more than ten minutes, but I made it! I call that love. And determination. Probably a mixture of both. If you have absolutely no idea why equalizing my ears to be able to scuba equates to love, maybe you need to read My Little Scuba Adventure Day 1.

My instructor’s patience with me today was a relief, though I definitely wasn’t surprised. My descent into only 12 feet of water was painfully slow and it just reminded me of why I’m happy I chose to take my lessons through KCD. It’s a delicate learning process for new divers and I’m realizing more and more how important one on one care is for each and every detail. Knowing the material is one thing. Executing it is a whole different ball field.

I’ve been working with limitations most of my teen and young adult life. I’m not saying that they are earth-shattering limitations or debilitating. They are simply limitations, and I believe most people have to face limitations such as these throughout their life.

I believe my ears are a limitation when it comes to scuba diving, without a doubt. One ear is more ‘stuffy’ than the other. When I describe my ear equalizing experience with the instructors, I am told it is similar to diving after getting over a cold. Only with me, there’s no cold involved and it may always be like this.

Here are 5 points to remember when you’re learning something new with limitations (especially when involving certain risks):

  1. Before anything, make sure you are medically qualified.
    -A good scuba shop, like Kings County Divers, will need you to see an EMT before going forward with lessons if you have any medical conditions of concern.
  2. Trust the system.
    -The system in place is there for a reason and has been tested by thousands before you. KCD uses and refers back to Scuba Schools International (SSI) throughout their teachings.
  3. Trust your instructor.
    -Make sure there is a trust bond and sense of security between you and your instructor. This is essential.
  4. Don’t go beyond your limits.
    -If you are uncomfortable or in pain at any time, stop and indicate as such. Your well being is your instructor’s utmost concern. Therefore, you should…
  5. Go slow!
    -The only way I was able to equalize my ears to dive to the 12 foot bottom was by going extremely slow. However, not once did my ears hurt or actually bother me. My dad cannot scuba dive because of his ears. There is a possibility that he was never told to go slow enough to be able to adjust his ears properly as he descended (because I’m pretty sure what I have, came from him, which came from his own father).

For scuba diving in particular, I would recommend always having a patient, understanding dive buddy. Unless you’re specifically trained for solo diving, and have substantial experience as well as extra equipment to make up for having no partner, always having a dive buddy is an essential scuba requirement, along with ‘always breathe.’

I know that when I finish with KCD and earn my certification, I have a perfect dive buddy.

Stay tuned for my next scuba adventure!

Be Fierce!!

Briauna Mariah (:

How I’ve Dealt With Acne & Products that Work

As a model, nice skin is very important to me. I rely on good skin for the success of my career. The problem is, I have grown up with genetically bad skin.

When I moved to New York in July 2012, my skin seemed to have cleared up and was looking better than ever. Optimistically, I discontinued my old prescription, as it had lost its effectiveness anyways. Hormones and stress soon kicked in, however, and caused my acne to flare up, worse than ever. I was working hard on my new role as a New York model and my bad skin was extremely discouraging.

The bad skin caused even more stress–my face is my career!–my agency at the timed scheduled me to see a very expensive dermatologist.  I tried more antibiotics. It was a vicious cycle of stress, hormones, trying to find a solution, and more stress. The whole process of prescriptions, samples, and doctors visits was very aggravating. Near the end of December 2012, I met a terrific,  man on a modeling job who owns a branding company and he wanted to send me some Evologie creams. Continue reading “How I’ve Dealt With Acne & Products that Work”

Kings County Scuba Lessons: Day 2

**UPDATE: Unfortunately, KCD has gone out of business after a long, successful run in Brooklyn. While there are many other places to learn how to dive in NYC, it’s very sad to see Mia and her business close. I wish her all the luck & much success in the next chapter of her scuba diving career and everyone who was involved with KCD. Mia was kind enough to give me some really good deals with extra gear, so now I own my own wetsuit! Thank you for everything & the great experiences, Mia!**

In my scuba lessons day 1 blog post, I mentioned that to get anything done, you just have to get up and do it.  Today, I want to tell you one reason why choosing who you work through and what methods you take to go about doing it are so important.

The greatest scuba related fear I’ve faced so far was the fear to commit. Somehow, once I committed to getting scuba certified, all the other fears and concerns just dwindled down. Even when learning about all the different scuba-related injuries and symptoms that could occur if you don’t have the proper training and procedures down, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would have been. This is because I know I am in good hands with Kings County Divers and there is an established level of trust.

Today I descended into about 4 or 5 feet of water. Now, this doesn’t sound like much, but my ears could definitely feel the pressure. I had to learn the proper techniques to equalize my ears (adjusting them to the pressure) during this lesson. I wish I could say I was an expert at it. Clearly, I am not. I’ve always had issues with my ears on planes, but I was never sure if it was just an overreaction. My initial reaction to not being able to equalize my ears underwater, was that of dismay. What if it keeps me from finishing the course? Now this is a new fear I have to tackle. Continue reading “Kings County Scuba Lessons: Day 2”

Kings County Scuba Lessons: Day 1

**UPDATE: Unfortunately, KCD has gone out of business after a long, successful run in Brooklyn. While there are many other places to learn how to dive in NYC, it’s very sad to see Mia and her business close. I wish her all the luck & much success in the next chapter of her scuba diving career and everyone who was involved with KCD. Mia was kind enough to give me some really good deals with extra gear, so now I own my own wetsuit! Thank you for everything & the great experiences, Mia!**

Shhh… let me tell you about a secret surprise. Well, by the time you read this, it won’t be a secret anymore. Those of you who know me, know I am happily in love with my boyfriend. You may not know that he is a total marine science nerd. He gets excited about every little new thing he sees or discovers about any creature under the sea.

There are always ups and downs to a long distance relationship, but one perk certainly is the fact that I can go get scuba certified on my own without him even knowing! Now, scuba diving is a lifelong dream of mine. It’s a surprise not just for him, but an exhilarating treat for me.

The beginning of this endeavor began with meeting the lovely bright-eyed Mia, the owner of Kings County Divers in Brooklyn. I chose to get scuba certified specifically with Kings County Divers in Brooklyn for what I saw in Mia: Confidence, pride, expertise, and compassion. KCD is really the only dive shop in both Manhattan and Brooklyn that stood out to me for these qualities, especially after having my in-person consultation with Mia. Continue reading “Kings County Scuba Lessons: Day 1”