… just as soon as you get OW certified!?
Do you remember your first reaction to being able to breathe underwater? What was the first thing you wanted to do when you caught sight of a coral head liberally seasoned with tiny, multi-colored bait fish? When your instructor handed you your very first c-card, did you get a strong urge to swap places with them?
Judging by regular postings on any one of the various scuba forums and diving message boards in Cyberland, a fair percentage of newly-minted divers suffer through an overwhelmingly strong urge to replace their current situation with the “romance and glamor” of life as a scuba instructor on a warm beach someplace exotic and far away from the nine-to-five rat-race, the daily commute along clogged highways, and the vagaries of a climate that features seasons… especially cold ones.
The wording of their memos varies a little but the core message goes something like: “I have just got my XYZ open-water diver certification, and I have decided to become a scuba instructor! Can you give me some advice?” Occasionally, time is mentioned, too, as in, “I already have six dives under my belt and have enrolled in the XYZ professional scuba school so that I can become a scuba instructor next week…”
Ah, who can blame them? I am not sure if diving is truly unique among “lifestyle” sports in this regard, but it really is quite amazing that scads of recent inductees to our little community (some still waiting for the mail to bring them the piece of plastic that tells the world they are a paid-up and checked-out member) want to teach others how to do it.
You simply have to love that level of enthusiasm, and when any of us get a chance to reply, we should take these requests seriously and actually try to help. However, I admit that my reaction can be hash sometimes. I have a slightly jaded perspective, and my view of the scuba industry—through what’s left of the rose-tinted spectacles I started out with—is clouded by the much less attractive hard-edged primary colors of the real world.
Those of you who do actually teach scuba professionally—regardless of which level and to whom and where—will probably agree that the romance is a little white lie from a V-P of marketing someplace, and the glamor of climbing into slightly damp, slightly stinky drysuit underwear on day four of a six-day CCR Cave Program is severely limited. However, teaching people to dive has its moments...
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