Divemaster Class Day 1

Its 11:00pm at night, but I want to write about how I am feeling right now. I wnat this blog/journal to include my path to SCUBA Instructor, so the emotions tumbling around inside me right now are important to share. Tonight we had our first DM class. Three and a half hours later I feel extremely overwhelmed.

I’m worried about getting the base of knowledge secured in my brain… about mastering the 20 basic SCUBA skills when there are some I don’t even remember doing in my Open Water class back in 2003 (fin pivot?! I had to google that when I was reading the manual to know what it was). I’m worried about being outgoing enough to really talk with the strangers on the dive boats and get their stories, or if I’ll be keen enough to be able to spot possible problems or stress in other divers and I’m worried about being a good assistant and properly anticipating the needs of the instructor I’m assisting. I’m worried about having to help and communicate with a student having a problem underwater when we can’t speak. I’m worried about money… I’ve already spent more money this year on gear than I had budgeted. I’ve bought a new wetsuit, computer and BCD, the BCD was not a planned purchase but a necessary one. Now I’m thinking about all the little accessories I need for a good dive kit and first aid kit and spare gear to be able to assist divers, and floats and flags and insurance costs and dive boat costs, and none of that takes into account the things I also want to buy like new fins to replace my crappy old ones and a rashguard for extra warmth or even some day nicer, new regulators in case my uncle decides to dive again and wants his back. I’m worried about finding the time between work, and exercise and friends to be able to complete everything without going bonkers. In short, I’m worried.

But I’ve felt this before. These butterflies in my stomach are not a new experience. I felt them when I decided to go to Durango, CO for my freshman year of college, to a new place where I knew no one. I felt them when I decided to move back to the desert and try the University of Arizona and then switched my major to Media Arts from Biology. I felt them at EVERY new job I’ve had from waitressing to working in the camera store, working on set and working for Run & Gun currently. I felt them on my dive internship when I had to learn to fill tanks and I was afraid that I was going to make one explode somehow, or when I had to stand in front of a crowd of strangers and give the 20 minute Manta Ray talk or when giving the little intro to dive lessons we taught at the Sheraton pool.

My point is, while I feel overwhelmed right now I know it’s okay. I have been here before many times in many different situations.

Most of this will pass, over time the knowledge base will become second nature, I will learn and master the SCUBA skills and underwater demonstration will come back to me…heck, I did it for 5 weeks in Hawaii and was able to get a bunch of kids to successfully clear their masks underwater, remove, replace and clear their regs, and attain some level of buoyancy, etc so I’m sure I can remember how to complete and then master these skills and then I’ll improve until its second nature like it is with the other Instructors at the shop who can’t help but use the hand signals as they explain or demonstrate to us during class, or even out at the bar! I’ll come out of my shell, I always do, and I always end up making good friends I just have to take that first step. I will acquire gear slowly. I know I feel a rush right now that I have to go out and drop thousands of dollars on all this gear, but I don’t. I can’t and I need to be okay with that. I will gather piece by piece as I can, and take the discounts where they come (like buying Laura’s old dive gear bag vs. getting a new one). If that means putting off the new fins and rashguard that I want and dealing with my old (and slightly cracked fins) for a few more months, then thats what it means.

I can do this, because I want to do this. I know that, it’s just that every now and then I need a little reminder, or a chance to sit back and just share my fears and that is what I’m doing now. Just writing out these fears and the facts that I can face and destroy them is comforting and whether or not anyone ever reads this I know its out there, I was honest with myself and that I will succeed.

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