We have a lot of conversations with folks about diving. Most everyone thinks that diving is some variant of cool/fun/exciting. More often than not, the conversation turns into something like this. “Oh I’d love to dive, but I can’t because of x, y, z”. Often people assume that diving is expensive. There is some cost involved for sure, but it does not have to be excessive. Like most activities, you can spend as much as you want. Or you can look for ways to make the activity both inexpensive and enjoyable. We frequently hear “I can’t dive because I have x condition”. There are some legitimate medical conditions that preclude diving, but not many, and age is not by itself one of them. A consultation with your instructor and doctor can easily help you determine if you can safely participate. “I can’t do x,y, or z skills” is also common. The beauty of this one is that’s why we take the class! Quality SCUBA instruction isn’t designed to make divers into divers, it is designed to make non-divers into divers. Diving is a set of skills like any other sport that must be learned and practiced. This takes time and patience. The underwater world is unlike any other place we humans enter. It just takes practice. All the instructors we know will happily spend extra time with a diver until they master a skill AND are comfortable.
Most of the reasons we hear ultimately come down to one thing. Fear. One of my favorite authors writes “Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.” Fear stops us from trying things. It stops us from doing something a little uncomfortable. Fears become less powerful with the confidence gained by perfecting skills. Often the hardest thing to do is just get in the water and take a breath. Once you have conquered that hurdle it gets easier. Each little success builds on the last and before you know it, you are a diver exploring the beauties and wonders of underwater worlds. The trick is to be open and honest about fear. Recognize it and make a rational and informed decision to overcome it. Then make a plan with your instructor on how to do it step by step, little by little.
Most training agencies and instructors offer an opportunity to try SCUBA before enrolling in the class. This is a safe and fun chance to see what it is all about. So just give it a try, no matter what your concerns are, have a go. If it’s not for you, that’s fine, but you never know until you try. You may be surprised and find that it becomes a huge part of your life. You never know.