13 Aug Going Pro
You are sitting behind your desk at your office and daydreaming about getting away from it all. Thinking about tropical breezes, beautiful blue water and a lifestyle that doesn’t include traffic jams and deadlines? That’s when it starts, the urge to take your next level of PADI training!
I wasn’t working in an office but I was in retail, living just outside Boulder, Colorado. Now, believe it or not, Colorado, even though it is landlocked, has the highest number of divers per capita in the US! My earliest memories are of watching Jacques Cousteau on his weekly television program and wishing I could see what he was seeing. I would read anything I could get my hands on that involved being underwater! In my late 20’s I finally walked into my local dive center and that’s when the direction of my life changed. I signed up for my PADI Open Water Diver certification, never thinking it would go beyond that, after all, I was living no where near an ocean! While doing the PADI Confined Water training, I thought the assisting Divemaster had the coolest job in the world! I decided to do a referral and finish my training with my Open Water certification dives in Roatan, Honduras, where the water was warm and salty. The day after my Open Water Diver certification, I signed up for the Advanced Open Water Diver course. I found that I just couldn’t get enough! Once back in Colorado I continued to take courses which in turn helped to develop a relationship my dive center. Eventually, I worked up to my PADI Divemaster certification and started assisting the PADI Instructors employed by the shop. It was a great experience, I learned from some of the best PADI Instructors in the industry and I saw what an impact they made on peoples lives, just as my Open Water Instructors had impacted mine. I saw what a difference patience and professionalism made in the experience the students received. It wasn’t long before I decided to take the next step and become a PADI Open Water Instructor myself and the local shop hired me to work with them. After teaching in the lakes of Colorado for a couple seasons I decided it was time to make a life change. After selling my business and house, I moved to the Caribbean island of Dominica. So, I found my paradise, blue seas, tropical breezes and all! If I had not become a PADI Instructor I might still be working retail and shoveling snow. I worked, lived and traveled the Caribbean for a little over six years before moving to Florida.
Eventually, the draw of taking my training to the next level led me to becoming a PADI Course Director and now I have the pleasure of training new PADI Open Water Instructors! I truly believe that we, as PADI professionals, have the best job in the world. Just the ride on the boat to the dive site is enough to change an attitude and to be a part of someone’s first experience in the ocean or breathing underwater for the first time is something you can’t get from any other profession.
The PADI Instructor’s Creed reads: “As a scuba instructor I have the opportunity to see fear changed to courage, faintheartedness converted into accomplishment, timidity transformed into confidence and anticipation turned into passion. As a scuba instructor I can open hearts and minds to the hidden beauty of nature’s creation and our obligation to protect it, foster self-esteem in another person, teach the value of character and integrity and transform another human being and change a life for the better and forever.” I couldn’t say it any better!