It all started one ‘sunny day’ at Vobster, the water had low visibility I had been a PADI DiveMaster a short while at this point and that day called upon all my recently acquired skills.
Vobster Quay is always Sunny - Even When its raining - We love to dive there! So its now time for My PADI Instructor Development Course!
Watching, assisting and aiding the instructor to help keep everybody safe. It was when I was hovering around the platform, ready to pounce into action if required, it occurred to me how much responsibility the position of instructor held. There at that moment a big question also invaded my thoughts. Could I do that? Did I want to? Would I be able to cope with the pressure, the studying and the exams? After all I am dyslexic, I couldn’t possibly do it, my little self-doubter on my shoulder reminded me. However, after talking to Paul at Bespoke Scuba, where he gave me a clear picture of what was involved and most importantly the confidence to take the next step on my diving journey, I decided the PADI IDC was within my reach and my little self-doubter needed to just mind its own business. #PADI #Gopro
My #IDC induction included an initial presentation from Paul, as our #coursedirector, and I received a rather daunting PADI IDC induction pack. I nearly turned and ran, but I knew I would be sharing this journey with two other, Bespoke trained, colleagues Dave and James, who ultimately have become amazing friends, due to this shared experience. They had both been my dive buddies at Bespoke for some time and I was so happy to be sharing this journey with them.
Then the hard work started; online learning, home study, attending weekends in the classrooms at Bespoke and Wednesday evenings at the pool. It was not easy, it needed commitment from me and from my loved ones. I was AWOL for endless evenings and weekends. I was learning so much, sometimes it was overwhelming but Paul and my fellow students were always there and I found I could offer them support too.
Practice exams came and went, my water skills were critiqued, my drive to improve on my performance and relearn the things that I have forgotten over time propelled me forwards.
I was out of my comfort zone, but was taught how to write and how to deliver knowledge development presentations. I don’t like taking centre stage in a group of professional divers, all critiquing my performance, but somehow this just became the normal, this process helped to build up my confidence, self-esteem, and drive me onwards. I had entered a phase of self-discovery that I had not expected, but relished. This self-discovery, grew my confidence and commitment to the course and my colleagues.
With the last teaching session from Paul delivered, I drove up to Leicester for the final exams. I was very nervous about this, yet reassured that I had been well prepared for what was about to be the biggest diving experience of my life thus far. I felt well prepared and headed into the exams well prepared. When I arrive the PADI examiners put me at ease by clearly outlining the weekends itinerary, in a professional but friendly manner. I knew what to expect, it was my time to shine. The exam hit the table, my extra time that I needed for my dyslexia to be accounted for, has been sorted and it was up to me now. The exams proved tough for me but Paul, my Course Director's voice was in my ear, “You can do this”.
I initially missed one section by one mark, but re-took it the next morning and passed.
I prepare my KD, something that once terrified me, now it was just a process to follow and deliver. As my Course Director would say “trust the process” and sure enough as this drew to a close all I needed to hear was “well done” that’s it on to the next set of skills. Off to the pool. I was the last to go in the group. The pressure heightened, as I anticipated my turn, before I knew it the skills just flooded back, the preparation and hard work had paid off.
Then it was time to face the water, at #Stoneycove, on the coldest weekend so far this year. Again I felt nervous but now with more excitement than anything, I wanted to nail this, I knew my skills, as they had been rehearsed and rehearsed and all I needed to do was demonstrate them. I was so nearly there, the last few bits left to do. Two de-briefings and teaching the open water skills, then Rescue exercise 7 to complete. We were given the stranded pass phrase of well done. The last and final piece to do was the debrief...........
Again I was last, I watched all my peers coming out with smiles on their faces They had passed. It felt like an eternity but then it was my turn. This time I got a handshake, so this is what a ‘Paul Hollywood’ handshake felt like, I’d done it !
I was welcomed to the instructor team. I was so relieved, but the examiner had more to say to me; he stated that he was impressed with me, noting how well I had conducted myself, he also recognised that being last is the hardest place to be and I had do. Massive thanks to my #PADI course director Paul!