Down Below We Go!

Less than a year ago, my wonderful wife, Angela, and I began scuba diving. In the span of 10 months we have gone from the initial lessons and certification to now having logged almost 60 dives. We’ve spent around 50 hours total underwater, obtained our Advanced Open Water Certification from PADI, and dove in conditions ranging from the pitch black and ice cold of a Texas lake in February, to the beautiful reefs of the Florida Keys and Mexico.  And yes, there were sharks.
It has been an incredible journey and I am thrilled this is a part of our lives and I can’t wait to get underwater again!
And I’ve learned a ton, some things about myself, some things about Angela (she’s a bad ass!), so much about the ocean and the incredible creatures in it. We’ve made some friendships with some great people in the local dive community, learned how to use a compass, we even won an underwater navigation contest!  (full disclosure…we were awful but apparently everyone else was slightly more awful!)
And it has opened my eyes to some things that have helped me grow personally and professionally and, to that end, I thought I’d share a few lessons learned regarding:
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence
  • Trust and communication
  • Navigating through discomfort
…and more. All while watching Goliath Grouper and Barracuda hanging out underneath my boat while I’m trying to get back in it.
So I’ll hope you’ll join me for my little series of “tales under the sea”, but before I get to writing the next post, a few ideas regarding scuba diving:
The community is refreshingly inclusive. I’ve seen a great mix of genders, ages, and body types. You don’t have to be Michael Phelps to want to get in the water!
Most dive shops offer a “discover scuba” session where you are gently introduced to scuba diving, that could be a great way to get your feet (and everything else!) wet. If you’ve thought about it, give it a go!
If you do really want to add diving to your life, buy your own gear. People with their own gear dive more, pure and simple. It is more cost effective in a lot of ways, but there are also two additional factors that make this a wise investment if you are willing to take the plunge:
  1. Knowing your gear makes you safer. If you dive with familiar equipment, it is easier to adjust things underwater, troubleshoot issues, and react in an emergency situation.
  1. There is a certain pride and attachment with owning your own gear. It is YOUR kit. You build it, you care for it, it grows and changes as you continue to grow as a diver.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money to start, we chose one of the lowest kit options and it worked out great for us.
So there you have it. I could go on for hours, but for now that is all. I’ll get to the real learning concepts in the next posts.
For now, adios!