scuba diving in manuel antonioNothing that’s easy is worth it and nothing that’s worth it is easy. Our lead instructor and ex-army sergeant JT often refers to our training as the process of creating diamonds. First, you need to cut them, then you polish them, then you shine them.

We are currently in the cutting phase.

It is now time to shed the insignificant and cut away the unproductive. One thing I am cutting away is thinking of myself as weak or incapable – wanting to prove to no one other than myself that I can be strong. But I mean this more literally than figuratively. The PADI Divemaster course has really been amazing so far, but there’s no denying it is also physically challenging and exhausting.

Facing challenges

Today we had a full boat in the morning and headed out again to practice skills in the afternoon. This included the Rescue Skill – performing a rescue on an unresponsive, non-breathing diver under the surface, giving them continuous rescue breaths as you tow them to the boat while undoing both of your equipment and getting them onto the boat to commence CPR. After this, I tried the tow – towing a diver 100m at the surface with both of you in full kit – without success.

These skills were challenging and it was a demanding day. Now I sit here at the end of my day thinking “what have I signed myself up for? Am I physically capable of this?” But you could look at this in either a negative or a positive way. During my DM course I have faced challenges and fears, but I have also done things that I never thought I could do – like navigate dives using a compass (when I even get lost with a GPS on land!), haul cylinders around, pull up anchors, tow divers, and even get up super early every morning! Doing the things I never thought I’d be capable of has resulted in me growing in ways I would never have anticipated, making me stronger in so many aspects of life.

Marine life sightings this week

Today might have been tough, but just take a look at a few highlights of the week so far:

Monday: Whale calf and mother
Tuesday: Good visibility, whale calf and mother, blennies
Wednesday: Amazing visibility, numerous fish, seahorse
Thursday: Octopus, massive Scorpionfish, 7 eels, juvenile pufferfish, whale calf and mother
Friday: Whales again, octopus again, trumpetfish

A scorpionfish camouflaged into the surrounding rock.

A scorpionfish camouflaged into the surrounding rock.

It comes down to perseverance. Keep going, even when you feel like you can’t do it. Just keep going. There’s a reason you sign up for a certain challenge or change. Because the body achieves what the mind conceives. And, at the end of the day, it will be worth it and you will shine like a diamond. Perhaps the more important question isn’t “what have I signed myself up for” but rather “how will this shape me into a better version of myself?” The best about this question, however, is that it can only be answered by trying. There is nowhere else I would rather be, so I persevere!

what have i signed up for with my padi divemaster