Its been a year since I started my Divemaster training, and though there's been some bumps along the way, I think that I'll be done by the end of the month. The nice thing about diving is that there's a definite pathway to improve yourself through training, and you can definitely tailor your wants to what's offered. However, while that's great this is a tendency by PADI to push more classes on you, regardless of whether or not you need them. As it was explained to me, divers who decide to stay Open Water for 200 dives are getting a lot more out their certification, money wise, than the diver with 60 dives who has a wallet full of certification cards.
I enjoy the instructional aspect very much, and I'm looking forward to being able to instruct scuba. My only issue I've seen so far is that a lot of people refuse to admit that scuba diving isn't for everyone. I'll never be a ballerina, or a pro football star, just like some people can't dive. I get the pride factor, but if you're having problems in the pool, you're not going to be doing too hot in a lake with ten feet of viz.
However, I've had a lot of good experiences with diving, and made a lot of good friends. What I like the most about diving is the sense of freedom, of a full range of movement in all directions. There's also the exploration factor, an amazing feeling of going through somewhere for the first time. Others may have seen it before, but when its the first time for you going under a rock arch, it really makes it all worth it.
Diving is also about conquering your fear. You may sit back and wonder what the hell I'm talking about, but I've seen plenty of people lose their shit in the pool at ten feet just because of the feeling of claustrophobia. There's also a feeling of offness that I remember distinctly, breathing under ten feet of water and knowing that something just is not right. Once that passes though, diving will seduce you, simply because of its otherness.
Something I've told new divers is that SCUBA gear is designed to keep you alive in an alien environment that would otherwise kill you, because that line has always stuck with me as being absolutely true. Being at 100 feet under will kill you quicker than you think if something goes wrong, and the only people more dangerous to themselves than beginning divers are experienced divers who forget how fast things can go horribly wrong.
Much like fencing or boxing, scuba is a demonstration of mastery. It shows you can overcome your natural panic instincts, to adapt to a strange environment, and to think through problems. If I've learned one thing from scuba diving, its that panic is what kills you. When you freak out and let your animal instincts take over, you're probably already dead. This fact can be applied to life as a whole - that when you panic, you've lost. That's why its so important to remember you're a human, and think as one, be it battle, debate, or leisure.
More white hot anger posting tomorrow. Home loan got denied so I'm trying to mellow a bit.