Conrads dive in

Jack Delaney, Sports Writer

In life, people can  be pushed to do activities outside of their comfort zones and end up experiencing things they never would have imagined. 

Xavier junior Maggie Conrad enjoys scuba diving with her parents, Joel and Kristan, and her older brother, Ben (X19), in Mexico. Maggie’s parents have also scuba dived in Jamaica. Her dad, Joel, spread this love to his family. 

“I took a class that was being offered at Kennedy High School when I first moved to Cedar Rapids,” Joel said. “I also did my open water certification in Florida and got to swim with manatees. My wife [Kristan] learned how to scuba dive before we got married so we could go scuba diving on our honeymoon.”

After seeing her parents enjoy doing it together, it did not take long for Maggie and her brother to follow in their footsteps.

“My brother and I became certified scuba divers when I was 11-years-old and he was            13-years-old,” Maggie said. “We started scuba diving as a family then and have been doing it ever since.”

Maggie has been scuba diving for a long time and enjoys seeing what lies beneath the surface of the ocean. 

“My favorite part of scuba diving is seeing all of the fish and different creatures,” Maggie said. “My favorite things I’ve seen when scuba diving are sharks, octopus, squid, eagle rays and sea turtles. One time a squid swam right towards my head and I had to duck to let it swim over me. It is amazing to also see the coral formations. I really enjoy the feeling of weightlessness when I am underwater.”

Maggie hopes that people considering learning how to scuba dive will go for it and try it out. 

“I would strongly encourage people to try scuba diving because it is truly an amazing experience because you get to see the wonders of the coral reefs,” Maggie said. “If people are afraid to try it, I would tell them that after you get into the water and see how peaceful the reefs are, there is nothing to be afraid of.”

Maggie is looking forward to this the next time she will have the opportunity to scuba dive and experience new things with her family.