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August 06, 2006

Congratulations, Conrad!

So, within a few hours from now my partner, Conrad, will be a card carrying PADI Scuba diver! I am so very proud of him! When I first discovered this fascination of his to become a scuba diver, he quizzed me about every aspect of scuba. Next came the question of me teaching him. That didn't seem like a valid option because of timing and our geographical locations. I urged him to explore the dive shops in his area, so he did.

Before I go on, here is a brief view of my diving history:

I earned my Beginning Scuba certification through NAUI in April, 1994. I was immediately hooked, as I knew I would be. Purchasing my very own gear was a big step, but I decided to make that step while I was still in training sessions in the pool. I wanted to get use to my own equipment and have a knowledgeable Instructor around in case I had questions or concerns. That turned out to be a very wise decision. By owning my own gear I was able to go diving more frequently in familiar gear, and I did! Within the first two years after certification I completed nearly 250 dives! Most in local waters, but many in wonderful destinations such as Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Bonaire, all over Florida, Truk Lagoon, Palau, and Yap.

I have never stopped learning about scuba. As soon as I got my certification card I enrolled in more classes. Advanced, then Nitrox, then Drysuit, followed by Equipment Specialist, then on to Cavern, and Intro To Cave Diving. I also completed NAUI's Advanced Rescue Diver, then Full Cave, and enrolled in a NAUI Dive Master program. And, yes, that was all within the first two years after my initial certification!

I changed careers in mid-stride. I followed my heart from being an Investment Banker to being a Dive Shop employee, and then I quickly made the decision to become a NAUI Instructor. Once settled in my new career and after establishing myself as an Instructor, I went on to acquire more training in different diving environments. I chose Diver Propulsion Vehicle in an Overhead Environment training, Extended Range diving, and eventually Trimix.

My career choices took a turn in a different direction nearly a year ago, but I am still an active NAUI Instructor, teaching 6 to 8 regularly scheduled classes per year along with private classes.

I have never regretted any of my decisions. I love diving and I love teaching. And I love seeing people become turned on to a sport I have such a deep passion for. I am pleased and proud that Conrad will now be able to share and explore our wonderful underwater world!

Okay. Enough about me... let's get back to the subject at hand!

Keeping in line with Conrad's curiosity about the sport, I quizzed him on what types of diving he intends to do, and then steered him in the direction of the best style of gear for the task. I have had the opportunity to view and use a lot of dive gear. Some good, some okay, and some bad.

Conrad asked me questions, listened to my opinions, asked more questions, and then made his decisions. He is one to take the time and effort to fully research any subject and thoroughly understand all the data before he makes his own decisions or forms an opinion. I feel honored that he values my opinions and experience.

So, right this minute he should be underwater completing his third of four certification dives. Last night he asked me what to expect of his experience today. I told him how I run my students' evaluation dives, what we do, and how long it all takes. He then told me Chuck had given him similar information.

I'm glad Conrad asks questions. I'm glad he doesn't take training lightly. I'm glad he understands this is a recreational activity, but is also serious business. I am enjoying re-learning what it's like to be a student in a beginning scuba class. I am enjoying getting to see it all through someone else's eyes whom loves writing and sharing his feelings and experiences. I hope that between the two of us, all of you, the readers of this site, will gain valuable knowledge and also will feel free to share your views and opinions as well!

Please help me by congratulating Conrad on a job well done! May he experience many, many years of safe and wonderful diving!

Posted by carol at August 6, 2006 11:53 AM


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