The sun was setting on another spectacularly salty day as I made my way off the boat. I grabbed my dive bag and slung my Blacktip custom speargun over my shoulder passing a crusty fisherman with a crooked hat and a southern drawl, “Aw, you poor thang; your boyfriend makes you carry his divegear?”
“Nah,” I chuckled, “The gear is all mine. And those fish in the cooler, they’re all mine too.” With a flip of my pony tail, I strutted off confidently to retrieve my fillet knives and get down to work.
Being an accomplished female hunter in this male-dominated sport is something that I’m quite proud of because I earned it! For a long time I felt like I had to prove something and that thought helped to push me forward along my underwater path. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and I’ve also paid attention. But most of all, I showed up. I got in the fight. I avoided the sidelines at all costs. I listened to my intuition and followed my heart.
I began my spearfishing career as a diver first, and I’ll never forget the first time I fell into the deep blue ocean and drifted over a spectacularly colorful, healthy reef. My buoyant flight over an underwater city was literally breathtaking! Once a speargun fell into my hands, a competitive edge formed and I was “hooked.”
It wasn’t necessarily an easy path – and sometimes the path is blighted with risk and danger – but it’s a path that I have never regretted swimming down. They say experience is the mother of all wisdom and I can attest that with each experience, the positive AND the negative, I have learned something new — “Whoops, I won’t ever do THAT again,” — and slowly, over time, a talented, skillful, underwater hunter emerged.
In the fall of 2013, I was hired to work as a commercial spearfisher(wo)man during the filming of a thrilling television docudrama called “Catching Hell” on the Weather Channel. It’s been an amazing experience, and has awakened a new dream for me. I hope to inspire others — especially women! — to find their own adventures, to promote awareness of our world, and encourage self-discovery and thoughtful conversations to engender a more meaningful, integrated life. My friend, Melissa, and I have created the Ocean LoveHer lifestyle brand. We are independent, non-conforming, unconventional women that LIVE passionately and follow our DREAMS.
I have been spearfishing and playing in the ocean for a decade now, and every time I float in the deep blue, my soul is restored. For me, there’s a peacefulness and beauty in our world beneath the sea that can’t be found anywhere else. Appreciation for that beauty and the ebb and flow of my life has gifted me with a desire for simple living and gratitude for each new day and for the adventures and life experiences that enrich and nurture my soul. Make no mistake though, the inner peace that I find while swimming beneath the waves, does not quell the competitor that dwells within: I kill what I eat, and eat what I kill.
Lisa Rollins is the only female cast member on the television show “Catching Hell” and a co-founder of Ocean LoveHer, a lifestyle brand that promotes a sense of adventure and a bold and courageous YOU. Our goal is to connected like-minded women, and the men who support them, and to encourage each other to awaken independence, adventure, love and become compassionate beings on personal quests for inner peace, gratitude and joy.