Monday, March 22, 2010

What a feeling: Go Scuba!

After telling my arduous experiences getting PADI open water certified, I felt obligated to offer tips and insight to any women who are looking to try scuba diving. Scuba diving is NOT just for certain body types. If you're in shape and love the water, try scuba diving. A PADI open-water certification is life long and does not need to be renewed. Once you have it, you have it!

Be sure to openly-communicate your concerns with your instructor ahead of time. I never point blank asked the instructor how my weight would affect my scuba diving. Get a feel for what your provider's attitude is concerning your weight. If they make you feel uncomfortable about it, then leave! Do not let the worries you have about scuba and your body image issues get tangled. When I look back now, I realize I should have been asking about the availability of wet suits from day one, and not let my experience be ruled by lack of planning on their part. There are SO many places to get scuba certified, why waste your time going to one that makes you feel uncomfortable?

I learned that hard way that sometimes being outgoing doesn't mean you have to be alone in your travels. In a sport where learning in pairs is enforced, bring a friend with you! My experience would have been much more fun if I had someone I enjoyed being with.

With that said, I REALLY wish I had found this Big Adventures Website sooner! They provide scuba trips for just women of all sizes to be adventurous and take on new challenges and become PADI open water certified. Go to a tropical location, meet other women who are as outgoing as you, and learn in a supporting non-judgmental environment. Having a female trainer who respects your desire to be active and scuba dive sounds amazing. One day I hope I get to go on one of these trips!

Check out the PADI website for information on location and costs, the website even allows you to take some of the course online!

While my scuba experience was challenging, it didn't break me. I want to continue my education and take the digital underwater photographer class and become a coral reef conservation diver. YAY for being certified!

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