I have often been asked why I got into the sport of scuba diving. Students frequently ask and I also use the reasons why I started diving as a teaching tool during class and pool portions of the Open Water course. Other people are usually quite amused to hear of a practicing lawyer quitting the practice of law to become a scuba instructor.
A few of the reasons why I started diving may inspire some people to face-up to similar issues that they encounter, so hopefully, this blog will help there too.
So, what was the number one reason why I got into scuba diving? Fear. Straight and simply, I had a massive fear of deep water. It stemmed primarily from a two-fold concern: the “Jaws” effect and the fear of drowning.
Although I have been swimming since I was a young lad, up until recently (something I’ll discuss in the next couple of posts) I wasn’t the strongest swimmer. Accordingly, knowing I ran out of juice fairly quickly and not overly confident on my ability to stay positively buoyant, anytime I was in a large body of water and not close to shore or a boat, I would be terrified of slipping beneath the waves.
Oddly enough, the basic scuba course, the Open Water Diver course, requires a minimum level of swimming ability, but for me, the saving grace was the fact that if my head went under the surface, I could still breath. I mean, that’s the whole point of using scuba equipment, right? It was the first step on overcoming my fears. Pop your head under water and just breath normally. At the surface, inflate your BCD (buoyancy compensation device) and you’re wearing a ready-made life-vest. The world was starting to look sweet…..